This 30 CATS undergraduate first-year option module explores the history of Britain in the twentieth century from a social history perspective. It pays special attention to the experiences and everyday lives of ‘the people’, rather than focusing on the actions of a powerful elite.
It introduces students to historiographical, methodological and political approaches associated with social history, such as ‘history from below’, labour history and the history of everyday life, critically examining them in light of feminist and postcolonial scholarship. It examines how gender, race and class united and divided ‘the British people’ and has shaped British identity. It examines the roles of social change, war, empire, culture, and politics in the construction of the nation. It considers the relationship between British identity and that of the four constituent nations of the United Kingdom, and it concludes with examination of the roles of history and the heritage industry in the narration of the nation. Throughout the module, students will be asked to reflect upon their own position as students living and studying in Britain - and how the past has shaped the world we live in today.
- Demonstrate a broad understanding of historical and theoretical interpretations of Britain in the twentieth century, particularly regarding ideas of nation, gender, race and class.
- Identify key historiographical debates and contributions to interpretations of Britain in the twentieth century.
- Identify and engage with key primary sources in British history, having gained experience of reading such documents for the meanings and evidence that they contain.
- Demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills through the delivery of a presentation.
- Devise well-defined essay topics, construct bibliographies, collect relevant data from a variety of sources and present results in an effective fashion.
- Oral Presentation (20%)
- 2000 Word Essay (30%)
- 3000 Word Essay (50%)
Various items from the
Modern Record Centre's collections
on twentieth century Britain.