Focusing on one of the most frequent and explicit targets of Thatcher’s economic policies, working-class men in traditional heavy industries, I explore representations of the dissolution of both unions and private space under Thatcher. Looking at fiction, films, and screenplays by Barry Hines, James Kelman, Irvine Welsh, and David Peace, among others, I trace the destruction of a community-based form of masculinity, focusing on an evolution from earlier, more naturalistic treatments of the era into two divergent strains of late depictions: individualist, fantastic stories like Billy Elliot, and more collectivist, formally innovative texts like GB84.

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