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  1. Week 2: Unemployment 18 items
    1. This week we are looking at unemployment and employment (it must not be forgotten that at the very worst of the depression only 2.8 million were unemployed!) in the inter-war period. We must remember how our own experiences today might influence the way we think about unemployment – particularly with Ed Balls saying that the current recession is worse than the one in the 1930s – a debate that we can certainly return to.

      The inter-war period sees unemployment treated as a genuine economic problem for the first time – before this governments think in terms of the 'indigent poor'. It is also important as a signifier of income, and therefore a person's ability to participate in the community. We must also bear in mind the regional nature of unemployment and the way it affected some communities more than others, hence the famous Jarrow Crusade. For these reasons, it is an important thing to study.

      During this class I want to see if we can tease out what the regional structure of employment and unemployment was, how it changed and what was done by governments to deal with the problems they faced.

    2. Essential Reading 9 items
      1. You must read the chapter by K.D. Brown, 'Industry and Services: Employment and Unemployment' in C. Wrigley (ed.) A Companion to Early Twentieth Century Britain (Oxford, 2003) 302-318, especially page 309 onwards. I will provide this to you as a handout.

      2. The Cambridge social history of Britain 1750-1950 - F. M. L. Thompson 1990

        Book Essential Contains chapters on different regions of the country, that is well worth looking through.

      3. Unemployment in Britain between the wars - Stephen Constantine 1980

        Book Essential

      4. ‘Slump and Unemployment’ - S Howson

        Chapter Essential

      5. The classic slum: Salford life in the first quarter of the century - Robert Roberts 1971

        Book Essential This will also be useful for the housing class

    3. Further Reading 8 items
      1. British unemployment, 1919-1939: a study in public policy - W. R. Garside 1990

        Book Recommended

      2. Keynesian Policy and British Unemployment in the 1930s - W. R. GARSIDE, T. J. HATTON 02/1985

        Article Recommended

      3. The problem of the distressed areas - Wal Hannington 1937

        Book Recommended

      4. Still Searching for an Explanation of Unemployment in Interwar Britain - David Metcalf, Stephen J. Nickell and Nicos Floros 1982

        Article Recommended

      5. Still Searching for an Explanation of Unemployment in Interwar Britain - David Metcalf, Stephen J. Nickell and Nicos Floros 1982

        Article Recommended

      6. Men without work: a report made to the Pilgrim Trust - William Temple, Pilgrim Trust 1938

        Book Recommended

  2. Week 3: Love on the Dole 3 items
    1. This week we will be watching the film, Love on the Dole, starring Deborah Kerr and Clifford Evans, filmed in 1941. It is based on the novel by Walter Greenwood, published in 1933 by the Left Book Club (see your seminar documents for an extract).

       

      The film (and book) cover many of the social concerns of working class families (and, to an extent the middle classes) of the 1930s: depression, unemployment, Marxism, the black market, the desires of a new generation.

       

      After we have watched the film, we will have a discussion about some of the issues raised – both in terms of the content, but also in terms of what film in general can tell us about the period. You may wish to look at the following two articles which specifically relate to the film, and will inform the discussion.

    2. Love on the Dole - Matthew Gaughan 11/2008

      Article Essential

  3. Week 4: Housing 30 items
    1. The inter-war period sees a great many developments in housing policy and the nature and state of the way ordinary people lived. In 1900 we still talk about insanitary conditions, the workings of the poor law to help the destitute, etc… but by the start of the second world war, slum clearance programmes had been in operation for several years, council houses were common, the (admittedly less than successful) 'homes fit for heroes' campaign had seen housing at the forefront of reconstruction agenda and private ownership of houses was increasing at a rapid rate, largely due to the relatively cheap availability of houses and mortgages for ordinary people. Clearly much had changed in the inter-war period, and this session looks at what these changes were, and why they occurred.

    2. Essential Reading 3 items
      1. You must read the following TWO chapters:

      2. Chapter 24. ‘Housing and Town Planning 1900-1939’ - Helen Meller

        Chapter Essential I will provide this to you as a handout.

    3. Further Reading 26 items
      1. The best general texts on housing are: 

      2. A social history of housing, 1815-1985 - John Burnett 1991

        Book Essential Please do not hog this book in the library, but you will find that it is by far the best introduction to this topic.

      3. See also the relevant chapters of: 

      4. _________________________________________________________________

      5. Suburban style: the British home, 1840-1960 - Helena Barrett, John Phillips 1987

        Book Recommended

      6. Housing and the state: 1919-1944 - Marian Bowley 1945

        Book Recommended

      7. Social conditions in Britain, 1918-1939 - Stephen Constantine 1983

        Book Recommended

      8. Exploring the urban past: essays in urban history - H. J. Dyos, David Cannadine, David A. Reeder 1982

        Book Recommended

      9. The design of suburbia: a critical study in environmental history - Arthur M. Edwards 1981

        Book Recommended

      10. Slums - S. Martin Gaskell 1990

        Book Recommended

      11. Model housing: from the Great Exhibition to the Festival of Britain - S. Martin Gaskell 1986, c1987

        Book Recommended

      12. Housing policy in Britain: a history - A. E. Holmans c1987

        Book Recommended

      13. Housing, social policy and the state - Joseph Melling 1980

        Book Recommended

      14. Dunroamin: the suburban semi and its enemies - Paul Oliver, Ian Davis, Ian Bentley 1981

        Book Recommended

      15. British town planning: the formative years - Anthony Sutcliffe 1981

        Book Recommended

  4. Week 5: Health, Medicine, Death and Disease 27 items
    1. The early twentieth century saw a change in the perception of both poverty and insanitary living conditions. The work of Charles Booth (on London) and Seebohm Rowntree (on York) led to the Victorian assumption of poverty being the 'fault' of the poor being replaced with a view that poverty was frequently brought about by economic circumstances. The 'poverty line' and 'poverty cycles' were discussed for the first time. The period between Rowntree's first survey of York and his second, in the interwar period, marked a dramatic change. No longer were people writing about basic diets to keep people alive; now the emphasis shifted towards assessing and understanding the optimum diet for people. This week we will be looking at the way understanding of medical problems & diet developed and also showed up the inadequacies of the medical systems in place to deal with the ill. Clearly this links to material already covered on slums.

    2. Essential Reading 4 items
      1. You must read the following:

      2. Chapter 25, ‘Medicine and Public Health 1900-1939’ - Steven Cherry

        Chapter Essential I will provide this to you as a handout.

    3. Further Reading 22 items
      1. Social Conditions in Britain 1918-1939 - Constantine, Stephen 1983

        Book Recommended

      2. The Evolution of the British Welfare State - Fraser, Derek

        Book Recommended

      3. Health and medicine in Britain since 1860 - Anne Hardy 2001

        Book Recommended

      4. Health and society in twentieth-century Britain - Helen Jones 1994

        Book Recommended

      5. Blood and guts: a short history of medicine - Roy Porter 2003

        Book Recommended

      6. Sick, not dead - James C. Riley 1997

        Book Recommended

      7. Fertility, class and gender in Britain, 1860-1940 - Simon Szreter 1996

        Book Recommended

      8. Healthy or Hungry Thirties? - Charles Webster 01/03/1982

        Article Recommended

      9. 'Infant mortality, maternal mortality and public health in Britain in the 1930s’ - J. Winter 1979

        Article Recommended The library owns the print copy of this journal, which can be fetched from the basement for students. Unfortunately our copyright licence doesn't cover this journal, so we can't scan the article.

  5. Week 6: Sport & Leisure 33 items
    1. One aspect of a person's life that many consider to be free from government intervention is the way one spends one's leisure time. However, the inter-war period sees an increasing amount of time spent in ensuring that people (a) actually have leisure time (through use of bank holidays and the increasing trend towards paid work holidays) and (b) use that leisure time in a suitable manner. This week we will investigate the extent to which sport and leisure pursuits developed during the inter-war period and how far the government was involved in people's lives. Initiatives like Youth Hostels and Workers Travel Associations sit beside more obvious leisure pursuits like the spread of cinema, the inception of the BBC, increased sporting activities and the way that architectural developments (the '1960s looking' glass Boots the Chemists headquarters in Nottingham and the Art Deco movement, for example) mirrored the popular image of the 'roaring twenties'.

    2. Essential Reading 5 items
      1. You must read the following:

      2. Chapter 28. ‘Leisure and Sport in Britain 1900-1939’

        Chapter Essential I will provide this to you as a handout.

    3. Further Reading 27 items
      1. Social conditions in Britain, 1918-1939 - Stephen Constantine 1983

        Book Recommended

      2. ‘Cinema and broadcasting’

        Chapter Recommended

      3. Borrowed time: the story of Britain between the wars - Roy Hattersley 2007

        Book Recommended

      4. Sport, leisure and culture in twentieth-century Britain - Jeff Hill 2002

        Book Recommended

      5. Smoking in British popular culture - Matthew Hilton 2000

        Book Recommended

      6. Sport and the British : a modern history - Holt, Richard, 1948 Apr. 19- 1990

        Book Recommended

      7. Going to the Dogs. - Huggins, Mike1 2006

        Article Recommended

      8. Sport and the English middle classes, 1870-1914 - John Lowerson 1993

        Book Recommended

      9. Classes and cultures: England 1918-1951 - Ross McKibbin 1998

        Book Recommended

      10. Sport in Britain: a social history - Tony Mason 1989

        Book Recommended

      11. ‘Sport and Recreation’ - T. Mason

        Chapter Recommended

      12. Cinema, literature & society: elite and mass culture in interwar Britain - Peter Miles, Malcolm Smith c1987

        Book Recommended

      13. Leisure in Britain 1780-1939 - John K. Walton, James Walvin c1983

        Book Recommended

      14. Cricket and England: a cultural and social history of the inter-war years - Jack Williams 1999

        Book Recommended

      15. After the Victorians - A. N. Wilson 2006

        Book Recommended

  6. Week 7: Religion in Inter-war Britain 28 items
    1. Comparatively little has been written on religion in the inter-war period. In most other periods religion is seen as central to British society; in the twentieth century it is generally a footnote. However, that does not mean we should not study it. For many it was a central pillar of their lives, and churches still had many roles other than the purely religious ones (e.g. charitable giving, links to monarchy and the generic view of Britain as a 'Christian' country. This week we will be charting some of the main changes that the inter-war period brought about, and looking exactly how much Britain was becoming a secular society in this period, and to what extent this might have been apparent to people at the time.

    2. Essential Reading 5 items
      1. You must read the following:

      2. Chapter 29. ‘Religion, 1900-1939’ - S. Mews

        Chapter Essential I will provide this to you as a handout.

      3. Classes and cultures: England 1918-1951 - Ross McKibbin 1998

        Book Essential esp. 272-295

      4. You will also find some useful material on marriage (although not necessarily in a religious sense) in: 

      5. Chapter 7. 'The Best Job of All'

        Chapter Essential

    3. Further Reading 22 items
      1. Religion and Society in Twentieth-Century Britain - Callum G. Brown 22 Jun. 2006

        Book Recommended

      2. Twentieth-century Britain: economic, cultural and social change - Francesca Carnevali, Julie-Marie Strange 2007

        Book Recommended

      3. History, religion, and culture: British intellectual history, 1750-1950 - Stefan Collini, Richard Whatmore, B. W. Young 2000

        Book Recommended

      4. Identity of England - Robert Colls 2002

        Book Recommended

      5. Class, culture and social change: a new view of the 1930s - Frank Gloversmith 1980

        Book Recommended

      6. Sex, Gender and Social Change in Britain since 1880 - Hall, Lesley, 1949- 2000

        Book Recommended

      7. A history of English Christianity 1920-1985 - Adrian Hastings 1986

        Book Recommended

      8. Borrowed time: the story of Britain between the wars - Roy Hattersley 2007

        Book Recommended

      9. Poor relief and charity, 1869-1945 - Robert Humphreys 2001

        Book Recommended

      10. After the Victorians - A. N. Wilson 2006

        Book Recommended

      11. Religion and voluntary organisations in crisis - Stephen Yeo 1976

        Book Recommended

      12. The Jews of Britain, 1656 to 2000 - Todd M. Endelman 2002

        Book Recommended

      13. Orthodox Judaism in Britain since 1913: an ideology forsaken - Miri Freud-Kandel 2006

        Book Recommended

      14. Anti-Catholicism in Wales, 1900–1960 - TRYSTAN OWAIN HUGHES 2002-4

        Article Recommended

  7. Week 8: Cultures of Consumption – the consumer boom 22 items
    1. The consumer society really began to develop in the inter-war period. It is part of the central paradox of the 1930s – at a time of economic depression there was an incredible growth in consumer items, from electricity in the home, chains of shops (Woolworths, Marks & Spencer, etc…) to goods like the wireless, cars, fridges, hoovers and new homes. This week we will investigate the overall consumer growth, paying due regard to the related items that we have already covered in previous weeks.

    2. Essential Reading 4 items
      1. You must read the following:

      2. Chapter 22. ‘Consumption and Consumer Behaviour’ - S. Bowden

        Chapter Essential I will provide this to you as a handout.

      3. Chapter 13. 'Cultures of Consumption'.

        Chapter Essential Especially pages 432-438 and 447-450 (although the remainder of the chapter covers material on housing, sport and leisure that we have already covered.

      4. Clearly much of the reading you were asked to undertake when we looked at Sport/Leisure, Health/Diet and Housing will be very relevant to this subject. Please refer to your class notes for those weeks, as well as the material below.

    3. Further Reading 17 items
      1. The British economy, 1870-1939 - Derek H. Aldcroft, Harry W. Richardson 1969

        Book Recommended

      2. ‘The New Consumerism’ - S. Bowden

        Chapter Recommended

      3. British industry between the wars: instability and industrial development, 1919-1939 - Neil Keith Buxton, Derek H. Aldcroft 1979

        Book Recommended

      4. Twentieth-century Britain: economic, cultural and social change - Francesca Carnevali, Julie-Marie Strange 2007

        Book Recommended

      5. Culture and crisis in Britain in the Thirties - Jon Clark 1979

        Book Recommended

      6. Identity of England - Robert Colls 2002

        Book Recommended

      7. Social conditions in Britain, 1918-1939 - Stephen Constantine 1983

        Book Recommended

      8. ‘Cinema and broadcasting’ - A. Davies

        Chapter Recommended

      9. Class, culture and social change: a new view of the 1930s - Frank Gloversmith 1980

        Book Recommended

      10. Cinema, literature & society: elite and mass culture in interwar Britain - Peter Miles, Malcolm Smith c1987

        Book Recommended

      11. Theorizing patriarchy - Sylvia Walby 1990

        Book Recommended

  8. Week 9: British Identity: The Monarchy and the British 16 items
    1. British society in 1939 was drastically different to that of 1914, and some even felt that the nature 'Britishness' was under threat. The Empire, upon which some still felt the sun would never set, was clearly restive and after most of Ireland ceded from the United Kingdom in 1922, there were also signs of an increase in Welsh and Scottish nationalism by the 1930s. The old institutions – like the Anglican Church – were also seen to be weaker, and economic gloom, a new 'faster' society heavily influenced by trends in the USA and a period of coalition governments all had an unsettling effect. However, one thing remained above all else – the respect for the monarchy. This was shown in the affection for King George V during his silver jubilee celebrations in 1935, the popularity of charming and suave Prince of Wales and in the genuine distress felt by many at the old King's passing in January 1936. Within a year, though, even the Monarchy would be severely tested by the Abdication Crisis which erupted around Edward VIII and his American mistress, Wallis Simpson. This session looks at the Monarchy and the damage the Abdication caused, together with Scotland and Wales in the 1920s and 1930s.

    2. Essential Reading 5 items
      1. You must read the following:

      2. Chapter 18. ‘Everybody calls him Bertie. The Monarchy and the British People’

        Chapter Essential Which I will provide as a photocopy.

      3. Power and the people: a guide to constitutional reform - Vernon Bogdanor 1997

        Book Essential

      4. On royalty - Jeremy Paxman 2006

        Book Essential

    3. Further Reading 9 items
      1. The monarchy and the constitution - Vernon Bogdanor 1997

        Book Recommended

      2. Aspects of aristocracy: grandeur and decline in modern Britain - David Cannadine 1994

        Book Recommended

      3. The monarchy and the British nation, 1780 to the present - Andrzej Olechnowicz 2007

        Book Recommended

      4. Britishness since 1870 - Paul Ward 2004

        Book Recommended

      5. King Edward VIII: the official biography - Philip Ziegler 1990

        Book Recommended

    4. Questions to consider

      • What hold did the monarchy have over the British people? Why do they respect them so much?
      • How much power did George V, Edward VIII and George VI have?
      • To what extent was influence vested in them because they were without power?
      • What does the abdication crisis show us about the power of the press?
      • What does the aftermath of abdication crisis show us about the power of the monarchy?

  9. Week 10: Crime and Punishment 19 items
    1. This final seminar will discuss the extent to which crime afflicted the British population in the 1920s and 1930s. One might expect it to be common and becoming more so – especially with the rise in unemployment and recession in the 1920s and full-blown crisis in the 1930s. Yet the figures indicate that this was not so; crime was on the decrease. This seminar looks at some of the reasons why, and also addresses the veracity of some of the statistics produced.

    2. Essential Reading 4 items
      1. You must read the following:

      2. Chapter 27. ‘Crime, Police and Penal Policy’ - C. Emsley

        Chapter Essential Which I will provide as a photocopy.

    3. Further Reading 13 items
      1. Crime and society in England, 1750-1900 - Clive Emsley 2005 (electronic resource)

        Book Recommended Background only.

      2. Hard men: the English and violence since 1750 - Clive Emsley 2005

        Book Recommended

      3. The English police: a political and social history - Clive Emsley 1996

        Book Recommended

      4. ‘The English bobby: an indulgent tradition’ - C. Emsley

        Chapter Recommended

      5. Clouds of glory: a Hoxton childhood - Bryan Magee 2004

        Book Recommended

      6. Hooligan: a history of respectable fears - Geoffrey Pearson 1983

        Book Recommended

      7. Reconstructing the criminal: culture, law, and policy in England, 1830-1914 - Martin J. Wiener 1990

        Book Recommended Background only

    4. Questions to consider

      • Did crime increase or decrease across the period?
      • What were people's perceptions of criminal activity?
        • Why did people perceive them in this manner?
      • What were the reasons for any changes?
      • How complete and how far can we trust the figures?

  10. Week 11 1 item
    1. This week we will watch a DVD entitled 'The Two Winstons' relating to two characters we have come across in this module.

  11. Week 12 1 item
    1. This week will be a revision session. I strongly urge you to bring your notes for both modules with you this week.