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The Working Class in Mid Twentieth-Century England: Community, Identity and Social Memory

Hardcover - 25 May 2012
Jones, Ben (Author)
Rp 3,366,000
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This book maps how working class life was transformed in England in the middle years of the twentieth century. National trends in employment, welfare and living standards are illuminated via a focus on Brighton providing valuable new perspectives of class and community formation. Based on fresh archival research, life histories and contemporary social surveys, the book historicises important cultural and community studies which moulded popular perceptions of class and social change in the post-war period. It demonstrates the centrality of class in shaping experiences, identities and social memories. It shows how council housing, slum clearance and demographic trends impacted on working class families and communities. While suburbanisation transformed home life, leisure and patterns of association, there were important continuities in terms of material poverty, social networks and cultural practices.

The book provides a pioneering historical account of council house sales residualisation prior to the 1980s. It shows how slum clearance, council house sales and shifting allocations policies helped to polarize the local working-class and stigmatize particular estates. In a unique account of nostalgia and community publishing this research shows how ordinary people drew upon their own experiences of class and community to assert attachment and belonging to places and cultures ravaged by neo-liberalism.

Based on a wealth of qualitative and quantitative data and a deep engagement with new research on class, space and memory, this book will be essential reading for academics and students researching modern and contemporary social and cultural history, sociology, cultural studies and human geography.

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