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Bibliography, Seminar Reading, and Seminar Questions


  • M. Abbott, Family Affairs. A History of the Family in Twentieth-Century England (2003).
  • G. Allan, The Sociology of the Family: A Reader (1999).
  • V. Berridge, Health and Society in Britain since 1939 (1999).
  • J. Bornat, R. Perks, P. Thompson and J. Walmsley (eds.), Oral History, Health and Welfare (1999).
  • J. Bourke, Working-Class Cultures in Britain 1890-1960: Gender, Class and Ethnicity (1994).
  • J. Burnett, Destiny Obscure. Autobiographies of Childhood, Education and Family from the 1820s to the 1920s (1984).
  • H. Cook, The Long Sexual Revolution (2004).
  • L. Davidoff et. al., The Family Story: Blood, Contract and Intimacy 1830–1960 (1999).
  • A. Davin, Growing Up Poor (1996).
  • K. Fisher, Birth Control, Sex and Marriage in Britain 1925-50 (2006).
  • J. Gillis, For Better For Worse. British Marriage, 1600 to the Present (1985).
  • M. Jackson (ed.), Health and the Modern Home (2007).
  • H. Jones, Health and Society in Twentieth Century Britain (1994).
  • J. Lewis, The Politics of Motherhood: Child and Maternal Welfare in England, 1900-1939 (1980).
  • R. McKibbin, Classes and Cultures: England, 1918-1951 (1998).
  • M. Peplar, Family Matters: A History of Ideas about Family since 1945 (2002).
  • E. Roberts, A Woman’s Place (1984) and Women and Families: An Oral History 1940–70 (1995).
  • R. Roberts, The Classic Slum (1971).
  • S. Szreter, Fertility, Class and Gender in Britain 1850–1940 (1996).
  • P. Willmott and M. Young, Family and Kinship in East London (1957), Family and Class in a London Suburb (1960).
  • I. Zweiniger-Bargielowska (ed.), Women in Twentieth-Century Britain (2001).


Seminar Topics and Reading

Try to read as much as possible of the assigned seminar reading.

All students taking the course will be expected to introduce at least one topic or address a question on the seminar list.

The questions are to urge you to structure your reading, but students will be encouraged to come to seminars with their own points for discussion.

The course will be based largely on secondary sources, though we will be looking at selected primary sources and film material. Make sure that you read widely.

The seminar questions double as essay titles.


Seminar 1: Social Investigators and the Family

The health and welfare of the family has been a constant subject of investigation from 1860 to the present. In this introductory seminar we will think about the different the different theoretical perspectives and approaches to the study of the family and familiarise ourselves with some of the key debates.

Seminar/Essay Questions:

1. In what ways did the nineteenth and twentieth-century social investigators add to knowledge of working-class families?

2. What has the social survey contributed to the understanding of family life?

3. Examine the portrayal of gender by social investigators.

Seminar Reading:

1. S. Brooke, ‘Gender and Working Class Identity in Britain during the 1950s’ Journal of Social History 34 (2001) 773-95.

2. M. Freeman, ‘The Provincial Social Survey in Edwardian Britain’ Historical Research 75 (2002) 73-89.

3. R. McKibbin, ‘Class and Poverty in Edwardian England’ in R. McKibbin, The Ideologies of Class (1990) 167-196.

4. R. O’Day, ‘Retrieved Riches - Charles Booth’s Life and Labour of the People in London’ History Today 39 (1989) 29-35.


Additional Reading:

P. Abrams, The Origins of British Sociology 1834–1914 (1968).

P. Abrams, Practice and Progress. British Sociology 1950–1980 (1982).

F. Bell, Lady, At the Works (1907).

A. Briggs, Social Thought and Social Action. A Study of the Work of Seebohm Rowntree, 1871–1954 (1961).

M. Bulmer, K. Bales, and K. Sklar (eds.), The Social Survey in Historical Perspective (1991).

A. Davis, ‘A Critical Perspective on British Social Surveys and Community Studies and Their Accounts of Married Life, c. 1945-1970’, Cultural and Social History 6 (2009) 47-64.

G. Dench, K. Gavron, & M. Young, The New East End: Kinship, Race and Conflict (2006).

N. Denis, F. Henriques, and C. Slaughter, Coal is Our Life (1951).

D. Englander and R. O’Day (eds), Retrieved Riches. Social Investigation in Britain 1840–1914 (1995).

A. Fried and R.M. Elman, Charles Booth’s London (1971).

I. Gazeley, Poverty in Britain 1900–1965 (2003).

J.H. Goldthorpe et al., The Affluent Worker in the Class Structure (1969).

T. Harrisson, Mass Observation (1986).

J. Lewis, Women and Social Action in Victorian and Edwardian England (1991).

C.A. Linsley, and C.L. Linsley, ‘Booth, Rowntree and Llewelyn Smith: A Reassessment of Interwar Poverty’ Economic History Review 46 (1993) 88-104.

R. McKibbin, The Ideologies of Class (1990).

M. Pember Reeves, Round About a Pound a Week (1913).

J. Platt, Social Research in Bethnal Green (1971).

B.S. Rowntree, Poverty. A Study of Town Life (1901).

B.S. Rowntree, Poverty and Progress. A Second Social Survey of York (1941).

P. Summerfield, ‘Mass Observation. Social Research or Social Movement’ Journal of Contemporary History 20 (1985) 439-452.

L. Thompson and A.J. Walker, ‘The Place of Feminism in Family Studies’ Journal of Marriage and the Family 57 (1995) 847-65.

L. A. Tilly and M. Cohen, ‘Does the Family Have a History? A Review of Theory and Practice in Family History’ Social Science History 6 (1982) 131-79.

S. Webb and B. Webb, Methods of Social Study (1932).

P. Willmott and M. Young, Family and Class in a London Suburb (1960).

M. Young and P. Willmott, Family and Kinship in East London (1957).


Seminar 2: The Nuclear Family: Myth or Reality?

For most of the period since 1860 the nuclear family was a norm in British culture and society and it was widely experienced. It was assumed the contemporary model of family life would strengthen and continue. In this seminar we will investigate whether this ideal did correspond with the family lives of the British people and in what ways it supported or oppressed it members. We will look at how kinship networks have changed, or remained intact, over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Seminar/Essay Questions:

1. Were the 1950s a ‘golden age’ for the nuclear family?

2. Is there still a place for the extended family in modern society?

3. Have the functions of the extended family been transferred to the state?

4. Do you think the nuclear family was beneficial or problematic for its members and in what ways?

Seminar Reading:

1. J. Finch and P. Summerfield, ‘Social Reconstruction and the Emergence of Companionate Marriage, 1945-1959’ in D. Clark (ed.), Marriage, Domestic Life and Social Change: Writings for Jacqueline Burgoyne (1991) 7-32.

2. M. Gente, ‘The Expansion of the Nuclear Family Unit in Great Britain between 1910 and 1920’ The History of the Family 6 (2001) 125-142.

3. D. Kertzer, ‘Household History and Sociological Theory’ Annual Review of Sociology 17 (1991) 155-179.

4. P. Laslett, ‘The Comparative History of Household and Family’ Journal of Social History 4 (1970) 75-87.

5. B. Reay, ‘Kinship and Neighbourhood in Nineteenth-Century Rural England: The Myth of the Autonomous Nuclear Family’ Journal of Family History 21 (1996) 87-104.

Additional Reading:

N. Abercrombies and A. Warde, Family, Household and the Life Course (1995).

G.K. Behmer, Friends of the Family: The English Home and its Guardians, 1850-1940 (1998).

E. Bott, Family and Social Network: Roles, Norms and External Relationships in Ordinary Urban Families (1957).

L. Davidoff, M. Doolittle, J. Fink and K. Holden, The Family Story: Blood, Contract and Intimacy, 1830-1960 (1999).

L. Delap, Knowing Their Place: Domestic Service in Twentieth-Century Britain (2011).

M. Doolittle, ‘Close Relations? Bringing Together Gender and Family in English History’ Gender and History 11 (1999) 542-554.

S. Duncan and D. Smith, ‘Geographies of Family Formations: Spatial Differences and Gender Cultures in Britain’ Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 27 (2002) 471-93.

M. Forster, Hidden Lives: A Family Memoir (1996).

J.R. Gillis, For Better, For Worse: British Marriages, 1600 to the Present (1985).

J.E. Goldthorpe, Family Life in Western Societies: A Historical Sociology of Family Relationships in Britain and North America (1987).

J. Harris, Family: A Social History of the Twentieth Century (1994).

P. Horn, Life Below Stairs in the 20th Century (2003).

J. Klein, Samples from English Cultures (1965).

P. Laslett, The World We Have Lost (1965).

P. Laslett and R. Wall (eds.), Household and Family in Past Times (1972).

A. Olechnowicz, Working-Class Housing in England Between the Wars: The Becontree Estate (1997).

E. Roberts, A Woman’s Place: An Oral History of Working Class Women, 1890-1940 (1984).

C. Rosser and C. Harris, The Family and Social Change: A Study of Family and Kinship in a South Wales Town (1983).

S. Ruggles, Prolonged Connections: The Rise of the Extended Family in Nineteenth Century England and America (1987).

D.S. Ryan, The Ideal Home Through the 20th Century (1997).

E. Shorter, The Making of the Modern Family (1976).

P. Thompson, The Edwardians: The Remaking of British Society (1992).

R. Wall, J. Robin and P. Laslett, Family Forms in Historic Europe (1983).

W.M. Williams, A West Country Village: Ashworthy (1963).

P. Willmott and M. Young, Family and Class in a London Suburb (1960).

J. Winter (ed.), The Working Class in Modern British History (1983).

M. Young and P. Willmott, Family and Kinship in East London (1957).

M. Young and P. Willmott, The Symmetrical Family: A Study of Work and Leisure in the London Region (1975).


Seminar 3: Race, Religion and Family Life

Throughout the period since 1860 new emigrant groups have been arriving in Britain, including the Irish in the second half of the nineteenth century, Jews at the end of the nineteenth century, New Commonwealth immigrants after World War Two, and East Europeans at the beginning of the twenty-first century. In this seminar we will examine the reception of these groups, the role of religion, and the different patterns of family and community life they have experienced.

Seminar/Essay Questions:

1. Was race or religion the most important determinant in the family life of immigrant groups to Britain in the 19th and 20th centuries?

2. Contrast the attitudes and experiences of family life within at least two ethnic minority groups?

3. How far can contrasts in the experience of immigrant groups be ascribed to their different community and family structure?

Seminar Reading:

1. M.J. Hickman and B. Walter, ‘Deconstructing Whiteness: Irish Women in Britain’ Feminist Review 50 (1995) 5-19.

2. H. Kureshi, ‘London and Karachi’, in R. Samuel, Patriotism: The Making and Unmaking of British National Identity, II: Minorities and Outsiders (1989) 270-288.

3. B. Schwarz, ‘Claudia Jones and the West Indian Gazette: Reflections on the Emergence of Post-colonial Britain’ Twentieth Century British History 14 (2003) 264-285.

4. S.L. Tananbaum, ‘Philanthropy and Identity: Gender and Ethnicity in London’ Journal of Social History 30 (1997) 937-961.

5. W. Webster, ‘Transnational Journeys and Domestic Histories’ Journal of Social History 39 (2006) 651-666.

Additional Reading:

C. Alexander, The Art of Being Black (1996).

K. Burrell and P. Panayi, Histories and Memories: Migrants and Their History in Britain (2006).

R. Ballard (ed.), Desh Pardesh: the South Asian Presence in Britain (1994)

G. Dench, K. Gavron, and M. Young, The New East End: Kinship, Race and Conflict (2005).

D. Feldman, Englishmen and Jews (1994).

S. Fielding, ‘A Separate Culture?: Irish Catholics in Working Class Manchester and Salford, c. 1890-1939’, in A. Davies and S. Fielding, Workers Worlds: Cultures and Communities in Manchester and Salford, 1890-1939 (1992).

S. Fielding, Class and Ethnicity: Irish Catholics in England 1880–1939 (1993).

P.M. Garrett, ‘No Irish Need Apply’, British Journal of Social Work 32 (2002), 477-494.

M.J. Hickman, Religion, Class and Identity (1995).

C. Holmes, John Bull’s Island: Immigration and British Society 1871–1971 (1988).

B. Lammers, ‘The Birth of the East Ender: Neighbourhood and Local Identity in Interwar East London’ Journal of Social History 39 (2005) 331-344.

C. Lloyd, The Irish Community in Britain (1995).

L. Marks, ‘“The Luckless Waifs and Strays of Humanity”: Irish and Jewish Immigrant Unwed Mothers in London, 1870-1939’ Twentieth Century British History 3 (1992) 113-137.

C. Midgley, ‘Ethnicity, “Race” and Empire’, in J. Purvis, Women’s History (1995).

H. Mirza (ed.), Black British Feminism (1997).

P. Panayi, Immigration, Ethnicity and Racism in Britain, 1815–1945 (1994).

B. Parekh, The Future of Multi-cultural Britain (2000).

C. Peach (ed.), Ethnicity in the 1991 Census. Vol.2. The Ethnic Minority Populations of Great Britain (1996).

M. and T. Phillips, Windrush (1998).

C. Pooley, ‘The Residential Segregation of Migrant Communities in Mid-Victorian Liverpool’ Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 2 (1977) 364-382.

J. Rex and S. Tomlinson, Colonial Immigrants in a British City (1979).

T. Reynolds, ‘Family and Community Networks in the Re-Making of Ethnic Identity of Caribbean Young People in Britain’ Journal of Community, Work and Family 9 (2006) 273-290.

R. Roberts, The Classic Slum (1971).

R. Samuel, Patriotism: The Making and Unmaking of British National Identity, 3 vols (1989).

S. Selvin, The Lonely Londoners (1956).

A. Shaw, Kinship and Continuity: Pakistani Families in Britain (1988).

B. Tizard and A. Phoenix, Black, White or Mixed Race: Race and Racism in the Lives of Young People of Mixed Parentage? (1993).

L. Vaughan, ‘Jewish Immigrant Settlement Patterns in Manchester and Leeds 1881’ Urban Studies 43 (2006) 653-671.

S. Vertovec and C. Peach (eds.), Islam in Europe; The Politics of Religion and Community (1997).

W. Webster, Imagining Home: Gender, ‘Race’ and National Identity (1998).

W. Webster, ‘Race, Ethnicity and National Identity’ in I. Zweiniger-Bargielowska, Women in Twentieth-Century Britain (2001).

J. White, Rothschild Buildings: Life in an East End Tenement Block (1980).

J. White, London in the Twentieth Century (2001).

S.C. Williams, Religious Belief and Popular Culture in Southwark c 1880-1939 (1999).


Seminar 4: The Economics of the Family

During the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries the ideal of father as breadwinner has dominated understandings of the family economy. However, in reality, many families relied on all members of the family contributing to the family economy and they did so in various ways. Women and children contributed to the family income through their labour both inside and outside the home, with traditional means such as growing vegetables, taking in laundry and domestic service both continuing and being augmented by the increasing opportunities for paid labour.

Seminar/Essay Questions:

1. How did the family adapt to industrialisation?

2. In what ways have the different members of the family contributed to the family economy during the 20th century?

3. Is the family a social or economic unit?

Seminar Reading:

1. C. Creighton, ‘The Rise and Decline of the ‘Male Breadwinner Family’ in Britain’ Cambridge Journal of Economics 23 (1999) 519-541.

2. S. Horrell and Jane Humphries, ‘The Exploitation of Little Children’: Child Labor and the Family Economy in the Industrial Revolution’ Explorations in Economic History, 32 (1995) 485-516.

3. E. Roberts, ‘Working-Class Standards of Living in Barrow and Lancaster, 1890-1914’ The Economic History Review 30 (1977) 306-321.

4. E. Ross, ‘Survival Networks: Women’s Neighbourhood Sharing in London before World War I’ History Workshop 15 (1983) 4-27.

5. D.S. Wilson, ‘A New Look at the Affluent Worker: The Good Working Mother in Post-War Britain’ Twentieth Century British History 17 (2006) 206-229.

Additional Reading:

S. Alexander, ‘Women’s Work in Nineteenth Century London’ in S. Alexander, Becoming a Woman (1995) 3-56.

T. Alborn, ‘Senses of Belonging: The Politics of Working-Class Insurance in Britain, 1880-1914’ Journal of Modern History 73 (2001) 561-602.

M. Anderson, Family Structure in Nineteenth Century Lancashire (1971).

J. Bourke, Working-Class Cultures in Britain 1890-1960 (1994).

C. Chinn, They Worked All Their Lives: Women of the Urban Poor 1880-1939 (1988)

L. Davidoff, ‘The Separation of Home and Work: Landladies and Lodgers in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century England’ in S. Burman, Fit Work for Women (1979) 64-97.

N. Dennis, F. Henriques and C. Slaughter, Coal is Our Life: An Analysis of a Yorkshire Mining Community (1969).

M. Finn, The Character of Credit: Personal Debt in English Culture, 1740-1914 (2003)

D. Graham, ‘Female Employment and Infant Mortality: Some Evidence from British Towns, 1911, 1931 and 1951’ Continuity and Change 9 (1994).

D.R. Green, A. Owens, J. Maltby and J. Rutterford, Men, Women, and Money: Perspectives on Gender, Wealth and Investment 1850-1930 (2011).

A. Howkins, The Death of Rural England: A Social History of the Countryside since 1900 (2003).

P. Johnson, Saving and Spending: The Working Class Economy in Britain 1870-1939 (1985).

C. Langhamer, ‘The Meanings of Home in Postwar Britain’ Journal of Contemporary History (2005).

S. Meacham, A Life Apart: The English Working Class, 1890-1914 (1977).

R. Millward & F.N. Bell, ‘Economic Factors in the Decline of Mortality in Late Nineteenth Century Britain’ European Review of Economic History 2 (1998).

M. Pember Reeves, Round About a Pound a Week (1913).

B. Reay, ‘Kinship and the neighbourhood in nineteenth-century rural England’ Journal of Family History 21 (1996) 87-104.

E. Roberts, Women’s Work 1840-1940 (1988).

R. Roberts, The Classic Slum (1971).

B.S. Rowntree, Poverty: A Study of Town Life (1899).

W. Secombe, ‘The Housewife and Her Labour under Capitalism’ New Left Review 83 (1974) 3-24.

M. Segalen. ‘Kin relationships in urban society’ Historical Anthropology of the Family (1986).

L. Spencer and R. Pahl, Rethinking Friendship: Hidden Solidarities Today (2006).

P. Thompson, The Edwardians (1975) 21-42.

S. Todd, Young Women, Work, and Family in England 1918-1950 (2005).

F. Trentmann, ‘Beyond Consumerism: New Historical Perspectives on Consumption’ Journal of Contemporary History 39 (2004)

A. Vickery, ‘Golden Age to Separate Spheres? A Review of the Categories and Chronology of English Women’s History’ The Historical Journal 36 (1993) 383-414.

D. Vincent, Poor Citizens: The State and the Poor in Twentieth-Century Britain (1991).

R. Wall, ‘Work, Welfare and the Family: An Illustration of the Adaptive Family Economy’ in L. Bonfield, R. Smith and K. Wrightson (eds.), The World We Have Gained (1986) 260-294.


Seminar 5: Helping Healthy Families

In this seminar, we will consider how the people’s health was improving over the course of the period, the changing relationship between the public and medical professionals, and the role of the family in ensuring the health of its members. We will also think about how issues such as gender, class and ethnicity influenced people’s experiences of sickness and health.

Seminar/Essay Questions:

1. Trace the state’s growing concern with the health of the family and its members from 1860-1950.

2. ‘Health care, like child care, seems perennially to have been a female responsibility’. Discuss.

3. Why was there increasing concern about child health in late nineteenth-century England?

4. Has state intervention in health and welfare bolstered or undermined the family?

Seminar Reading:

1. A. Digby, ‘Changing Welfare Cultures in Region and State’ Twentieth Century British History 17 (2006) 297-322.

2. M.W. Dupree, ‘Family Care and Hospital Care: the ‘Sick Poor’ in Nineteenth–Century Glasgow’ Social History of Medicine 6 (1993) 195-211.

3. J. Lewis, ‘Family Provision of Health and Welfare in the Mixed Economy of Care in the late Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries’ Social History of Medicine 8 (1995) 1-16.

4. L. McCray Beier, ‘Contagion, Policy, Class, Gender, and Mid-Twentieth-Century Lancashire Working-Class Health Culture’ Hygiea International 2 (2001) 7-24.

5. P. Thane, ‘Women and the Poor Law in Victorian and Edwardian England’, History Workshop Journal 6 (1978) 29-51.

Additional Reading:

P. Benner, ‘The Early Years of the National Health Service – An Insider’s View’, in A. Gorst, L. Johnman and W. Scott-Lucas (eds.), Post-War Britain, 1945-64, Themes and Perspectives (1989) 43-52.

V. Berridge, Health and Society in Britain since 1939 (1999).

A. Crowther, Social Policy in Britain 1914-39 (1988).

C. Davies, ‘The Health Visitor as Mother’s Friend: A Woman’s Place in Public Health, 1900-1914’ Social History of Medicine 1 (1988) 39-59.

A. Digby, British Welfare Policy: Workhouse to Workfare (1989).

A. Digby and J. Stewart, Gender, Health and Welfare (1995).

G. Finlayson, Citizen, State and Social Welfare in Britain 1830-1990 (1994).

D. Fraser, The Evolution of the British Welfare State: A History of Social Policy since the Industrial Revolution (2003).

D. Gladstone (ed), Before Beveridge: Welfare before the Welfare State (1999).

A. Hardy, Health and Medicine in Britain since 1860 (2000).

J.R. Hay, The Development of the British Welfare State, 1880-1975 (1975).

H.M. Government, Social Insurance and Allied Services (The Beveridge Report) (1942).

M. Jackson (ed.), Health and the Modern Home (2007).

H. Jones, Health and Society in Twentieth-Century Britain (1994).

K. Jones, The Making of Social Policy in Britain, 1830-1990 (1991).

I. Levitt, Poverty and Welfare in Scotland, 1890-1948 (1989).

J. Lewis, The Politics of Motherhood: Child and Maternal Welfare in England 1900-39 (1980).

L. McCray Beier, For Their Own Good: The Transformation of English Working-Class Health Culture, 1880-1970 (2008).

T. McKeown, The Modern Rise of Population (1975).

J. Macnichol, The Movement for Family Allowances, 1918-45 (1980).

H. Marland, Medicine and society in Wakefield and Huddersfield, 1780-1870 (1987).

D. Porter, Health, Civilization and the State (1999).

M. E. Rose, The Relief of Poverty, 1834-1914 (1972).

B.S. Rowntree, Poverty and the Welfare State (1951).

M. Spring Rice, Working-Class Wives: Their Health and Conditions (1939).

S. Szreter, ‘The importance of social intervention in Britain’s mortality decline 1850–1914: A Reinterpretation’ Social History of Medicine 1988.

P. Thane ‘The Working Class and State ‘Welfare’ in Britain, 1890-1914’ The Historical Journal 27 (1984) 877-900.

P. Thane, The Foundations of the Welfare State (1996).

M. Thomson, Psychological Subjects: Identity, Culture and Health in Twentieth-Century Britain (2006).

R. Titmuss, Problems of Social Policy (1950).

C. Webster, ‘Health, Welfare and Unemployment during the Depression’ Past and Present 109 (1985) 204-230.

C. Webster, The National Health Service (1998).

C. Webster (ed.), Caring for Health: History and Diversity (2001).

J.M. Winter, ‘Unemployment, Nutrition and Infant Mortality in Britain, 1920–1950’ in J.M. Winter (ed.), The Working Class in Modern British History (1983).

I. Zweiniger-Bargielowska, ‘Raising a Nation of Good Animals: The New Health Society and Health Education Campaigns in Interwar Britain’ Social History of Medicine 20 (2007) 73–89.

I. Zweiniger-Bargielowska, Managing the Body (2010).


Seminar 6: Evacuation, Separation and Deprivation

From the late nineteenth century war has been intimately linked with thinking about the family. The Boer War focused attention sharply on the ability of mothers to rear fit children and anxiety about the wastage of infant life intensified in the years preceding World War One. This relationship between war and the well-being of children received renewed attention during World War Two with children experiencing family breakdown, separation and evacuation. In this seminar we will investigate this relationship between war, ideas of child development and thinking about the family.

Seminar/Essay Questions:

1. In what ways did the experience of evacuation during World War Two affect ideas about child development?

2. How far is it possible to generalise about the impact of war on family life?

3. Has war created the desire to return to normalcy as much as the desire for social change?

4. Did war promote long-term change, or just short-term confusion, in gender and generational relations?

Seminar Reading:

1. J. Harris, ‘War and Social History: Britain and the Home Front during the Second World War’ Contemporary European History 1 (1992) 17-35.

2. P.Y. Lin, ‘National Identity and Social Mobility: Class, Empire and the British Government Overseas Evacuation of Children during the Second World War’ Twentieth Century British History 7 (1996) 310-344.

3. S. Rose, ‘Sex, Citizenship, and the Nation in World War II Britain’ The American Historical Review 103 (1998) 1147-76.

4. P.M. Starkey, ‘The Feckless Mother: Women, Poverty and Social Workers in Wartime and Post-War England’ Women’s History Review 9 (2000), 539-557.

5. J. Welshman, ‘Evacuation and Social Policy during the Second World War: Myth and Reality’ Twentieth Century British History 9 (1998) 28-53.

Additional Reading:

J. Bourke, Dismembering the Male: Men’s Bodies, Britain and the Great War (1996).

B. Brivati and H. Jones (eds.), What Difference Did the War Make? (1993).

M. Brown, A Child’s War: The Home Front, 1939-1945 (2000).

G.J. De Groot, Blighty. British Society in the era of the Great War (1996).

D. Dwork, War is Good for Babies and Other Young Children (1987).

G. Gerson, ‘Individuality, Deliberation and Welfare in Donald Winnicott’ History of the Human Sciences 18 (1005) 107-26.

N.F. Gullace, ‘Sexual Violence and Family Honor: British Propaganda and International Law during the First World War’ The American Historical Review 102 (1997) 714-47.

N.F. Gullace, The Blood of Our Sons: Men, Women, and the Renegotiation of British Citizenship during the Great War (2002).

J. Holmes, John Bowlby and Attachment Theory (1993).

S. Koven, ‘Remembering and Dismemberment: Crippled Children, Wounded Soldiers, and the Great War in Great Britain’ American Historical Review 99 (1994).

N. Last, Nella Last’s War. A Mother's Diary 1939–45 (ed. R. Broad and S. Fleming, 1983).

J. Mann, Out of Harm’s Way: The Wartime Evacuation of Children from Britain (2005).

A. Marwick (ed.), Total War and Social Change (1988).

B. Mayhew, ‘Between love and aggression: the politics of John Bowlby History of the Human Sciences’, 19 (2006) 19-35.

L. Noakes, War and the British: Gender, Memory and National Identity (1997).

M. Parsons and P. Starns, Evacuation: The True Story (1999).

R. Pope, War and Society in Britain, 1899–1948 (1991).

D. Riley, ‘The Free Mothers’: Pronatalism and Working Women in Industry at the End of the Last War in Britain’ History Workshop Journal 11 (1981) 59-119.

D. Riley, War in the Nursery (1983).

D. Riley, Policies on War Nurseries: The Labour Market for Women’ in N. Frost (ed.), Child Welfare: Major Themes in Health and Social Welfare (2005).

S. Rose, Which People’s War? National Identity and Citizenship in Wartime Britain, 1939-45 (2005).

D. Smith, ‘Official Responses to Juvenile Delinquency in Scotland During the Second World War’ Twentieth Century British History 18 (2007) 78-105.

H L. Smith (ed.), War and Social Change: British Society m the Second World War (1986).

H.L. Smith (ed.), Britain in the Second World War: A Social History (1996).

P. Summerfield, ‘Women, Work and Welfare: A Study of Child Care and Shopping in Britain in the Second World War’ Journal of Social History 17 (1983) 249-69.

P. Summerfield and N. Crockett, ‘You Weren’t Taught that with the Welding’: Lessons in Sexuality in the Second World War’ Women’s History Review 1 (1992) 435-454.

P. Summerfield, Reconstructing Women’s Wartime Lives (1998).

D. Thom, Nice Girls and Rude Girls: Women Workers in World War I (1998).

C. Urwin and J. Hood Williams (eds.), Selected Papers of Margaret Lowenfeld (2004).

R. Wall and J.M. Winter, The Upheaval of War (1988).

J.M. Winter, The Great War and the British People (1986).


Seminar 7: Policing Problem Families

Throughout the period 1860 to the present there has been a concern with the failing family. Seen as a threat to society at large these problem families have been investigated, studied and surveyed. However the state has not always been willing to involve itself within the family, and the ways in which it has done so have witnessed great change. We will consider which families have been seen as a problem, why, and what were the consequences.

Seminar/Essay Questions?

1. How has state intervention in the family altered over the period 1860 to the present?

2. Have failing families always been seen as the result of failure of the mother?

3. Assess the relationship between poverty and the problem family.

4. How have the ideas of individual and family responsibility been integrated within state welfare provision over the period 1860 to the present?

Seminar Reading:

1. P. M. Garrett, ‘Sinbin’ Solutions: The ‘Pioneer’ Projects for ‘Problem Families’ and the Forgetfulness of Social Policy Research’ Critical Social Policy 27 (2007) 203-229.

2. A. Levene, ‘Family Breakdown and the ‘Welfare Child’ in 19th and 20th Century Britain’ The History of the Family 11 (2006) 67-79.

3. P. Starkey, The Medical Officer of Health, the Social Worker, and the Problem Family, 1943 to 1968: The Case of Family Service Units’ Social History of Medicine 11 (1998) 421-441.

4. B. Taylor and B. Rogaly, ‘‘Mrs Fairly is a Dirty, Lazy Type’: Unsatisfactory Households and the Problem of Problem Families in Norwich 1942-63’ Twentieth Century British History 18 (2007) 429-452.

5. J. Welshman, ‘In Search of the ‘Problem Family’: Public Health and Social Work in England and Wales 1940–70’ Social History of Medicine 9 (1996) 447-465.

Additional Reading:

L. Abrams, ‘Lost Childhoods: Recovering Children’s Experiences of Welfare in Modern Scotland’ in A. Fletcher and S. Hussey (eds.), Childhood in Question: Children, Parents and the State (1999) 152-171.

A. Andresen, K.T. Elvebakken and W.H. Hubbard (eds.), Public Health and Preventive Medicine 1800–2000 (2004).

R.G. Andry, Delinquency and Parental Pathology: A Study in Forensic and Clinical Psychology (1971).

G.K. Behlmer, Child Abuse and Moral Reform in England, 1870-1908 (1982).

S. D’Cruze, Crimes of Outrage: Sex, Violence and Victorian Working Women (2000).

S. D’Cruze (ed.), Everyday Violence in Britain, 1850-1950: Gender and Class (2000).

A. J. Hammerton, Cruelty and Companionship: Conflict in Nineteenth Century Married Life (1992).

H. Hendrick, Child Welfare: England 1872-1989 (1994).

L.A. Jackson, Child Sexual Abuse in Victorian England (2000).

M. Jackson (ed.), Infanticide: Historical Perspectives on Child Murder and Its Concealment, 1550-2000 (2002).

D. Martin, Battered Wives (1983).

H. Marland, Dangerous Motherhood: Insanity and Childbirth in Victorian Britain (2004).

L.D. Murdoch, ‘From Barrack Schools to Family Cottages: Creating Domestic Space for Late Victorian Poor Children’ in J. L. and P. Starkey (eds.), Child Welfare and Social Action in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: International Perspectives (2001) 147-173.

D. Owens, ‘Battered Wives: Some Social and Legal Problems’ British Journal of Law and Society 2 (1975) 201-11.

L. Peters, Orphan Texts: Victorian Orphans, Culture and Empire (2000).

R. Samuel, East End Underworld: Chapters in the Life of Arthur Harding (1981).

P. Starkey, ‘Mental Incapacity, Ill-health and Poverty: Family Failure in Post-War Britain’ in J. Lawrence and P. Starkey (eds.), Child Welfare and Social Action in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: International Perspectives (2001) 256-276.

J. Stewart, ‘The Most Precious Possession of a Nation is its Children’: The Clyde Committee on Homeless Children in Scotland’ Scottish Economic and Social History 21 (2001) 43-66.

J. Lawrence and P. Starkey (eds.), Child Welfare and Social Action in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: International Perspectives (2001) 101-120.

J. White, The Worst Street in North London: Campbell Bunk, Islington, between the Wars (1986).

Women’s Group on Public Welfare, The Neglected Child and His Family (1948).

G.K. Behlmer, ‘Deadly Motherhood: Infanticide and Medical Opinion in Mid-Victorian England’ Journal of the History of Medicine 34 (1979) 403-27.


Seminar 8: Motherhood

During the Victorian era the ideal of motherhood reached its pinnacle. Mothers were viewed as providing personal care and emotional rather than economic support; child-rearing came to be understood as a task that was best done primarily by the individual mother without reliance on servants, older children, or other women; and it was expected that all women whether biological mothers or not would have a maternal instinct. In this seminar we will analyse this idea, examine to what extent it was ever a reality and look into the ways in which the ideal and experience of motherhood has been changing over the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Seminar/Essay Questions:

1. In what ways have class, ethnicity and locality shaped women’s experiences of motherhood?

2. How have feminist theories of motherhood added to our understanding?

3. How has women’s caring role in the family been changing?

Seminar Reading:

1. S. Aiston, ‘A Maternal Identity? The Family Lives of British Women Graduates Pre- and Post-1945’ History of Education 34 (2005) 407-26.

2. A. Davis, ‘Uncovering the lives of women in post-war Oxfordshire: An oral history approach’ Rural History 19 (2008) 105-121.

3. J. Giles, ‘A Home of One’s Own : Women and Domesticity in England 1918–1950’ Women’s Studies International Forum 16 (1993) 239-253.

4. S. Rowbotham, ‘To Be or Not to Be: The Dilemmas of Mothering’ Feminist Review 31 (1989) 82-93.

5. R. Thomson and M.J. Kehily with L. Hadfield and S. Sharpe, The Making of Modern Motherhood: Memories, Representations, Practices (2008).

Additional Reading:

E. Badinter, The Myth of Motherhood (1980).

J. Bailey, Can Any Mother Help Me? (2007).

J. Bowlby, Child Care and the Growth of Love (1953).

N. Chodorow, The Reproduction of Mothering: Psychoanalysis and the Sociology of Gender (1978).

A. Dally, Inventing Motherhood (1982).

A. Davin, ‘Imperialism and Motherhood’ History Workshop 5 (1978) 9-66.

A. Davis, ‘A revolution in maternity care? Women and the maternity services, Oxfordshire c. 1948-1974’ Social History of Medicine (2011), 389-406.

V. Devlin, Motherhood: From 1920 to the Present Day (1995).

B. Friedan, The Feminine Mystique (1965).

J. Garcia, R. Kilpatrick and M. Richards (eds.), The Politics of Maternity Care (1990).

H. Gavron, The Captive Wife: Conflicts of Housebound Mothers (1968).

S. Grayzel, Women’s Identities at War: Gender, Motherhood and Politics in Britain and France During the First World War (1999).

M. Hirsch, The Mother/Daughter Plot: Narrative, Psychoanalysis, Feminism (1989).

J. Lewis, The Politics of Motherhood (1980).

J. Lewis (ed.) Labour and Love. Women’s Experience of Home and Family 1850-1940 (1986).

M. Llewellyn Davies (ed.), Maternity: Letters from Working-Women (1978).

L. McCray Beier, ‘Expertise and Control: Childbearing in Three Working-class Lancashire Communities’ Bulletin of the History of Medicine 78 (2004) 379-409.

A. Oakley, Housewife (1974).

A. Oakley, The Sociology of Housework (1974).

A. Oakley, Becoming a Mother (1979).

A. Oakley, Taking it like a Woman (1985).

A. Phoenix, Young Mothers? (1991).

T. Reynolds, Caribbean Mothering: Identity and Childrearing in the UK (2005).

A. Rich, Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution (1986).

D. Riley, War in the Nursery: Theories of Child and Mother (1983).

E. Roberts, A Woman’s Place: An Oral History of Working Class Women 1890-1940 (1984).

E. Roberts, Women and Families: An Oral History 1940-1970 (1995).

E. Ross, Love and Toil: Motherhood in Outcast London, 1870-1918 (1993).

E. Ross, ‘New Thoughts on the Oldest Vocation: Mothers and Motherhood in Recent Feminist Scholarship’ Signs 20 (1995) 397-413.

C. Smart (ed.), Regulating Womanhood - Historical Essays on Marriage, Motherhood and Sexuality (1992).

C. Urwin, ‘Constructing Motherhood: A Persuasion of Normal Development’, in C. Steedman, C. Urwin and V. Walkerdine, Language, Gender and Childhood (1985), 164-202.

W. Webster, Imagining Home: Gender, ‘Race’ and National Identity (1998).

D.W. Winnicott, The Child and the Family: First Relationships (1957).


Seminar 9: Fatherhood

The lack of attention fatherhood has received in historical discourse perhaps reflects contemporary attitudes. Fatherhood was not viewed as a shared male profession, passed down through the generations, in the same way as motherhood. Unlike working-class women, who enjoyed access to comprehensive support and advice networks among kin, friends and the community, fathers do not seem to have had such peer support. Nonetheless, this does not mean individual fathers were not engaged in the care of their children. In this seminar we will investigate how attitudes towards and experiences of fathers were changing since 1860, and what continuities have remained.

Seminar/Essay Questions:

1. How have ideals of fatherhood been changing over the period 1860-2000?

2. Have men become more domesticated?

3. Are fathers still viewed as being providers for their families?

4. In what ways has it been argued that children need fathers?

Seminar Reading:

1. J. Brannen and A. Nilsen, ‘From Fatherhood to Fathering: Transmission and Change Among British Fathers in Four-generation Families’ Sociology 40 (2006) 335-352.

2. T. Fisher, ‘Fatherhood and the British Fathercraft Movement, 1919-39’ Gender and History 17 (2005) 441-462.

3. M. Francis, ‘The Domestication of the Male? Recent Research on Nineteenth and Twentieth-century British Masculinity’ The Historical Journal 45 (2002) 637-652.

4. E. Gordon and G. Nair, ‘Domestic Fathers and the Victorian Parental Role’ Women’s History Review 15 (2006) 551-559.

5. N. Penlington, ‘Masculinity and Domesticity in 1930s South Wales: Did Unemployment Change the Domestic Division of Labour?’ Twentieth Century British History 21 (2010) 281-299.

Additional Reading:

J. R. Ackerley, My Father and Myself (1968).

R. G. Andry, Delinquency and Parental Pathology: A Study in Forensic and Clinical Psychology (1971).

J. Bourke, Working-Class Cultures in Britain 1890-1960 (1994).

J. Bourke, Dismembering the Male: Men’s Bodies, Britain and the Great War (1996).

T.L. Broughton and H. Rogers, Gender and Fatherhood in the Nineteenth Century (2007).

L. Burghes, L. Clarke and N. Cronin, Fathers and Fatherhood in Britain (1997).

M. Collins, ‘Pride and Prejudice: West Indian Men in Mid-Twentieth-Century Britain’ Journal of British Studies 40 (2001) 391-418.

S. Coltrane and R.D. Parke, Reinventing Fatherhood: Toward an Historical Understanding of Continuity and Change in Men’s Family Lives (1998).

R. Crompton, Restructuring Gender Relations and Employment: The Decline of the Male Breadwinner (1999).

F. Farley, ‘In the Name of the Family: Masculinity and Fatherhood in Contemporary Northern Irish Films Irish Studies Review 9 (2001) 203-213.

L.A. Hall, Hidden Anxieties: Male Sexuality, 1900-1950 (1991).

A.J. Hammerton, ‘Pooterism or Partnership?: Marriage and Masculine Identity in the Lower Middle Class, 1870-1920’ Journal of British Studies 38 (1999) 291-321.

S. Horrell & D. Oxley, ‘Crust or Crumb? Intrahousehold Resource Allocation and Male Breadwinning in Late Victorian Britain’ Economic History Review 52 (1999)

S. Humphries and P. Gordon, The Experience of Parenthood in Britain, 1900-1950 (1993).

J.R. Gillis, ‘Marginalization of fatherhood in Western countries’ Childhood 7 (2000) 225-238.

S. Koven, ‘Remembering and Dismemberment: Crippled Children, Wounded Soldiers, and the Great War in Great Britain’ American Historical Review 99 (1994)

J. Lewis-Stempel, Fatherhood: An Anthology (2002).

L. McKee and M. O’Brien (eds.), The Father Figure (1982).

C. Nelson, Invisible Men: Fatherhood in Victorian Periodicals, 1850-1910 (1995).

J.A. Mangan and J. Walvin, Manliness and Morality: Middle Class Masculinity in Britain and America, 1800-1940 (1987).

W. Marsiglio, Fatherhood: Contemporary Theory, Research and Social Policy (1995).

F. Mort, Cultures of Consumption: Masculinities and Social Space in Late Twentieth-Century Britain (1996).

F. Mort, ‘Social and Symbolic Fathers and Sons in Postwar Britain’ The Journal of British Studies 38 (1999) 353-384.

D. Newsome, Godliness and Manliness (1961).

R. Roberts, The Classic Slum, Salford Life in the First Quarter of the Century (1971).

M. Roper and J. Tosh, (eds.), Manful Assertions (1991).

C. Smart, ‘The Ethic of Justice Strikes Back: Changing Narratives of Fatherhood’ in A Diduck, and K O’Donovan (eds), Feminist Perspectives in Family Law (2006).

J. Tosh, A Man’s Place, Masculinity and the Middle-Class Home in Victorian England (1999).


Seminar 10: Growing Old

Old age is defined differently in every culture. It is not merely the final stage of life, uncomplicated and universally experienced. It has different meanings for different people and ‘the’ elderly are a very heterogeneous group. Key factors like gender, family position, and social and economic status determine how soon an individual would be seen as ‘old’, as of course did the more obvious factor of chronological age. In this seminar we will examine these variations within the experience of old age on the one hand, while also investigating how the construction of old age is particular to time and place.

Seminar/Essay Questions:

1. How is old age gendered?

2. What difference did the establishment of state pensions make to the experience of old age?

3. Why has old age acquired such prominence as a distinct social problem in the twentieth century?

Seminar Reading:

1. P. Bridgen, ‘Hospitals, Geriatric Medicine and the Long-term Care of Elderly People 1946-1976’ Social History of Medicine 14 (2001) 507-523.

2. P. Johnson, ‘The Employment and Retirement of Older Men in England and Wales, 1881-1981’ The Economic History Review 47 (1994) 106-128.

3. M. Pugh, ‘Working-Class Experience and State Social Welfare, 1908-1914: Old Age Pensions Reconsidered’ The Historical Journal 45 (2002) 775-96.

4. J. Roebuck, ‘When Does “Old Age Begin?: The Evolution of the English Definition’ Journal of Social History 12 (1979) 416-28.

5. P. Thane, ‘Social Histories of Old Age and Aging’ Journal of Social History 37 (2003) 93-111.

Additional Reading:

L. Botelho and P. Thane, Women and Ageing in British Society Since 1500 (2001).

A. Bowling, E. Grundy and M. Farquhar, Living Well Into Old Age: Three Studies of Health and Well-Being Among Older People in East London and Essex (1997).

R. Blundell and P Johnson, ‘Pensions and Retirement in the UK’ NBER Working Paper 6154 (1997).

T. R. Cole and M.G. Winkler, The Oxford Book of Aging (1995).

D. Collins, ‘The Introduction of Old Age Pensions in Great Britain’ The Historical Journal 8 (1965) 246-59.

S.L. Engerman, ‘Economic History and Old Age’ The Journal of Economic History 56 (1996).

J. Ford and R. Sinclair, Sixty Years On: Women Talk About Old Age (1987).

K. Gardner, Age, Narrative and Migration: The Life Course and Life Histories of Bengali Elders in London (2002).

Martin Gorsky, Bernard Harris, and Andrew Hinde, ‘Age, Sickness, and Longevity in the Late Nineteenth and the Early Twentieth Centuries. Evidence from the Hampshire Friendly Society’ Social Science History 30 (2006).

L. Hannah, Inventing Retirement. The Development of Occupational Pensions in Britain (1986).

J. Healy and S. Yarrow, Family Matters: Parents Living with Children in Old Age (1997).

C.H. Hennessy and A. Walker, Growing Older: Quality of Life in Old Age (2004).

P. Higgs and I. Rees Jones, Medical Sociology and Old Age: Towards a Sociology of Later Life (2007).

S. Katz, Disciplining Old Age: The Formation of Gerontological Knowledge (1996).

D.I. Kertzer, P. Laslett, Aging in the Past: Demography, Society, and Old Age (1995).

P. Laslett, A Fresh Map of Life: Emergence of the Third Age (1996).

J. Macnicol, Age Discrimination: An Historical and Contemporary Analysis (2006).

A.S. Orloff, The Politics of Pensions: A Comparative Analysis of Britain, Canada and the United States, 1880-1940 (1993).

C. Phillipson and A. Walker (eds.), Ageing and Social Policy. A Critical Assessment (1986).

R. Smith, ‘The Structured Dependency of the Elderly: A Twentieth Century Creation?’, Society for the Social History of Medicine Bulletin 34 (1984) 35-41.

J. Tenneson, Wise Women (2002).

P. Thane, ‘Non-contributory versus insurance pensions’ in P. Thane (ed.), The Origins of British Social Policy (1978) 84-106.

P. Thane, Old Age in English History: Past Experiences, Present Issues (2002).

P. Thane and T.G. Parkin, The Long History of Old Age (2005).

D. Thomson, ‘The Decline of Social Welfare: Falling State Support for the Elderly since Early Victorian Times’ Ageing and Society 4 (1984) 451-82.

D. Thomson, ‘Welfare and the Historians’, in L. Bonfield, R. Smith, and K. Wrightson (eds.), The World We Have Gained. Histories of Population and Social Structure (1986) 355-78.

P. Townsend, The Family Life of Old People (1968).

P. Townsend, ‘The Structured Dependency of the Elderly: A Creation of Social Policy in the Twentieth Century’ Aging and Society 1 (1981) 5-28.

J.A. Vincent, C. Phillipson, and M. Downs, The Futures of Old Age (2006).

A. Walker, The New Generational Contract: Intergenerational Relations, Old Age and Welfare (1996).

G.C. Wenger and V. Burholt, ‘Changes in Levels of Social Isolation and Loneliness among Older People in a Rural Area: A Twenty-Year Longitudinal Study’ Canadian Journal on Aging/ La Revue Canadienne du Vieillissement 23 (2004) 115-127.


Seminar 11: Growing Up

There were changing ideas about childhood during the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The state was increasingly getting involved. Children’s working hours had been curtailed with the Factory Act of 1833 and by the 1880 Education Act attendance at school was compulsory. The health and welfare of children was the focus of increasing concern with a number of campaigns to promote their well-being being launched. In this seminar we will examine how the lives of children were changing, what continuities remained, and what children themselves thought about the transformations that their lives were witnessing.

Seminar/Essay Questions:

1. How and where do children learn?

2. Is gender, class or ethnicity more important in shaping children’s experiences of growing up?

3. How were ideas of childhood changing over the period 1860-2000?

4. Is childhood a modern construction?

Seminar Reading:

1. P. Bowen, ‘The Schooling of Gypsy Children in Surrey 1906-1933’ Journal of Educational Administration and History 36 (2004) 57-67.

2. M. Childs, ‘Boy Labour in Late Victorian and Edwardian England and the Remaking of the Working Class’ Journal of Social History 23 (1990) 783-802.

3. H. Cunningham, ‘Histories of Childhood’ The American Historical Review 103 (1998) 1195-1208.

4. P. Horn, ‘The Education and Employment of Working-class Girls, 1870-1914’ History of Education 17 (1988) 71-82.

5. B.J. Lammers, ‘‘The Citizens of the Future’: Educating the Children of the Jewish East End, c. 1885-1939’ Twentieth Century British History 19 (2008) 393-418.

Additional Reading:

K. Boyd, Manliness and the Boys’ Story Paper’ Britain: A Cultural History, 1855–1940 (2003).

J. Burnett (ed.), Destiny Obscure, Autobiographies of Childhood, Education and Family from the 1820s to the 1920s (1982).

M. Collins, The Essential Daughter: Changing Expectations for Girls at Home, 1797 to the Present (2002).

H. Cunningham, ‘The employment and unemployment of children in England c. 1680–1851’ Past and Present 126 (1990) 115–50.

H. Cunningham, Children and Childhood in Western Society since 1500 (2005).

A. Davin, Growing Up Poor: Home, School and Street in London 1870-1914 (1996).

C. Dyhouse, ‘Good Wives and Little Mothers: Social Anxieties and the Schoolgirl's Curriculum, 1890-1920’, Oxford Review of Education 3 (1977) 21-35.

C. Dyhouse, Girls Growing Up in Late Victorian and Edwardian England (1981).

J.R. Gillis, Youth and History: Tradition and Change in European Age Relations, 1770-Present (1981).

B. Goldson, ‘Childhood’: An Introduction to Historical and Theoretical Analyses’ in P. Scraton (ed), “Childhood” in “Crisis”? (1997) 1-27.

L. G. Gurjeva, ‘Child Health, Commerce and Family Values: The Domestic Production of the Middle Class in Late-Nineteenth and Early-Twentieth Century Britain’ in M. Gijswijt-Hofstra and H. Marland, Cultures of Child Health in Britain and the Netherlands in the Twentieth Century (2003) 103-125.

H. Hendrick, Child Welfare. England 1872–1989 (1994).

C. Heywood, A History of Childhood (2001).

A. Higonnet, Pictures of Innocence: The History and Crisis of Ideal Childhood (1998).

R. Hoggart, ‘Scholarship Boy’ in R. Hoggart, The Uses of Literacy (1957).

S. Humphries, Hooligans or Rebels? An Oral History History of Working-Class Childhood and Youth 1889-1939 (1981).

P. Jephcott, Girls Growing Up (1942).

G. Lewis, ‘From deepest Kilburn’ in L. Heron (ed.), Truth, Dare or Promise: Girls Growing Up in the Fifties (1985).

J. McCrindle and S. Rowbotham (eds), Dutiful Daughters: Women Talk about Their Lives (1977).

H. S. Mizra, Young, Female and Black (1992).

B. Osgerby, Youth in Britain since 1945 (1998).

J. Pilcher, ‘Bodywork. Childhood, Gender and School Health Education in England, 1870-1977’ Childhood 14 (2007) 215-233.

L. Pollock, Forgotten Children: Parent-Child Relations from 1500 to 1900 (1987).

T.M. Proctor, ‘(Uni)Forming Youth - Girls Guides and Boy Scouts in Britain, 1908-39’ History Workshop Journal 45 (1998) 103-145.

E. Roberts, ‘Learning and Living—Socialization Outside School’, Oral History 3 (1975).

R. Roberts, The Classic Slum (1971), ch. 7.

C. Smart, B. Neale, and A. Wade, The Changing Experience of Childhood: Families and Divorce (2001).

J. Springhall, Youth, Empire and Society - British Youth Movements 1883-1940 (1971).

C. Steedman, C. Urwin and V. Walkerdine, Language, Gender and Childhood (1985).

T. Thompson, Edwardian Childhoods (1982).

P. Tinkler, ‘Girlhood and Growing Up’, in I. Zweiniger-Bargielowska, Women in Twentieth-Century Britain (2001).

C. Steedman, ‘Bodies, Figures and Physiology: Margaret McMillan and the Late Nineteenth Century Remaking of Working-class Childhood’ in R. Cooter (ed.), In the Name of the Child: Health and Welfare, 1880–1940 (1992) 19-44.

M. Winstanley (ed.), Working Children in Nineteenth-Century Lancashire (1995).


Seminar 12: Hooligans or Rebels? Delinquent Youth

Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries Britain’s youth was being characterised as a problem for society. Young people have been labelled as hooligans, delinquents and antisocial. In this seminar we will therefore consider the ideas of a growing youth culture, the construction of the teenager, generational conflict and the relationship between young people and the state.

Seminar/Essay Questions:

1. ‘Fluctuations in public concern about youth crime bear almost no relation to its actual incidence’. Discuss.

2. How has the experience of adolescence been influenced by gender, class and ethnicity?

3. Is the ‘teenager’ a creation of the second half of the twentieth century?

Seminar Reading:

1. K. Bradley, ‘Juvenile Delinquency, the Juvenile Courts and the Settlement Movement 1908-1950: Basil Henriques and Toynbee Hall’ Twentieth Century British History 19 (2008) 133-155.

2. A. Davies, ‘These Viragoes are No Less Cruel Than the Lads’. Young Women, Gangs and Violence in Late Victorian Manchester and Salford’ British Journal of Criminology 39 (1999) 72–89.

3. J. R. Gillis, ‘The Evolution of Juvenile Delinquency in England’ Past and Present 67 (1975) 96-126.

4. B. Littlewood and L. Mahood, ‘The “Vicious” Girl and the “Street-Corner” Boy - Sexuality and the Gendered Delinquent in the Scottish Child-Saving Movement, 1850-1940’ Journal of the History of Sexuality 4 (1994) 549-578.

5. A. Wills, ‘Delinquency, Masculinity and Citizenship in England 1950–1970’ Past and Present 187 (2005) 157-85.

Additional Reading:

V. Bailey, Delinquency and Citizenship: Reclaiming the Young Offender (1987).

M. Brake, The Sociology of Youth Culture and Youth Subcultures - Sex and Drugs and Rock ’n’ Roll? (1980).

J. Bowlby, Forty-Four Juvenile Thieves (1944).

C. Burt, The Young Delinquent (1925).

A. Campbell, Girl Delinquents (1981).

E. Chesser, C. Davey and G. Gorer, Teenage Morals (1961).

S. Cohen, Folk Devils and Moral Panics: The Creation of the Mods and Rockers (1972).

P. Cox, Gender, Justice and Welfare: Bad girls in Britain, 1900-1950 (2003).

N. Emler and S. Reicher, Adolescence and Delinquency: The collective Management of Reputation (1995).

D. Fowler, ‘Teenage Consumers? Young Wage-Earners and Leisure in Manchester, 1919-1939’ in A. Davies and S. Fielding (eds.), Workers’ Worlds. Cultures and Communities in Manchester and Salford, 1880-1939 (1992).

D. Fowler, ‘From Jukebox Boys to Revolting Students. Richard Hoggart and the Study of British Youth Culture’ International Journal of Cultural Studies 10 (2007) 73-84.

C. Griffin, Typical Girls? Young Women from School to the Job Market (1985).

H. Hendrick, Images of Youth: Age, Class, and the Male Youth Problem 1880-1920 (1990).

S. Humphries, Hooligans Or Rebels? An Oral History of Working-Class Childhood and Youth 1889-1939 (1981).

P. King, ‘The Rise of Juvenile Delinquency in England 1780–1840: Changing Patterns of Perception and Prosecution’ Past and Present 160 (1998), 116-166.

J.B. Mays, Growing Up in the City: A Study of Juvenile Delinquency in an Urban Neighbourhood (1954).

G. Pearson, Hooligan: A History of Respectable Fears (1984).

M. Plant and M. Plant, Risk-takers - Alcohol, Drugs, Sex and Youth (1999).

R. Porter and M. Teich (eds.), Drugs and Narcotics in History (1995).

H. Shore, Artful Dodgers: Youth and Crime in Early Nineteenth-Century London (1999).

H. Shore, ‘Home, Play and Street Life: Causes of, and Explanations for, Juvenile Crime in the Early Nineteenth Century’ in A. Fletcher and S. Hussey (eds.), Childhood in Question: Children, Parents and the State (1999) 96-114.

H. Shore with P. Cox, ‘Introduction: Re-inventing the Juvenile Delinquent in Britain and Europe 1650–1950’ in P. Cox and H. Shore (eds.), Becoming Delinquent: British and European Youth, 1650–1950 (2002) 1-22.

J. Springhall, Youth, Popular Culture and Moral Panics: Penny Gaffs to Gangsta-Rap, 1830-1996 (1998).

D. Thom, ‘The Healthy Citizen of Empire or Juvenile Delinquent? Beating and Mental Health in the UK’ in M. Gijswijt-Hofstra and H. Marland (eds.), Cultures of Child Health in Britain and the Netherlands in the Twentieth Century (2003) 189-212.

D.J. West, Delinquency: Its Roots, Careers and Prospects (1982).


Seminar 13: Sex and Birth Control

Fertility and sexuality became increasing areas of concern for the state during the period with worries about who was having children and in what numbers, and the consequences of venereal disease. In this seminar we will consider the fertility decline and the reasons for it, the impact of contraception and in particular the contraceptive pill, and other government campaigns to control sexuality.

Seminar/Essay Questions:

1. Do you think the causes of falling fertility are fully understood?

2. Who do you think controlled family size: women, men or both?

3. How important do you think the pill has been in changing women’s sexual lives?

4. Why do you think the boundaries between acceptable and unacceptable forms of sexual behaviour shifted during the twentieth century?

Seminar Reading:

1. D. A. Cohen, ‘Private Lives in Public Spaces: Marie Stopes, The Mothers’ Clinics and the Practice of Contraception’ History Workshop Journal 35 (1993) 96-116.

2. C. Davey, ‘Birth Control in Britain during the Interwar Years: Evidence from the Stopes Correspondence’ Journal of Family History 13 (1988) 329-345.

3. K. Fisher, ‘“She was Quite Satisfied with the Arrangements I Made”. Gender and Birth Control in Britain, 1920-1950’ Past and Present 169 (2000) 161-193.

4. A.C.T. Geppert, ‘Divine Sex, Happy Marriage, Regenerated Nation: Marie Stopes’s Marital Manual Married Love and the Making of a Best-Seller, 1918-1955’ Journal of the History of Sexuality 8 (1998) 389-433.

5. W. Secombe, ‘Starting to Stop: Working Class Fertility Decline in Britain’ Past and Present 126 (1990) 151-188.

Additional Reading:

L. Bland, ‘“Cleansing the Portals of Life”: The Venereal Disease Campaign in the Early Twentieth Century’, in M. Langan and B. Schwartz (eds.), Crises in the British State 1880-1930 (1985) 192-208.

L. Bland, Banishing the Beast: English Feminism and Sexual Mortality 1880-1914 (1995).

H. Cook, The Long Sexual Revolution (2004).

D. Evans, ‘Tacking the “Hideous Scourge”’ Social History of Medicine 39 (1995) 133-158.

K. Fisher, Birth Control, Marriage and in Britain 1918-1960 (2006).

K. Fisher and S. Szreter, ‘“They Prefer Withdrawal’: The Choice of Birth Control in Britain, 1918-1950’ Journal of Interdisciplinary History 34 (2003).

K. Fisher and S. Szreter, Sex before the Sexual Revolution (2010).

D. Gittins, Fair Sex, Family Size and Structure, 1900-1939 (1982).

L. Hall, Sex, Gender and Social Change in Britain since 1880 (2000).

R. Hall (ed.), Dear Dr. Stopes: Sex in the 1920s (1978).

L.A. Hall, ‘Venereal Diseases and Society and Britain, from the Contagious Diseases Acts to the National Health Service’ in R. Davidson and L.A. Hall, Sex, Sin and Suffering Venereal Disease and European Society since 1870 (2001) 120-136.

S. Humphries, A Secret World of Sex: Forbidden Fruit: The British Experience 1900-1950 (1988).

S. Jeffrys, The Spinster and her Enemies: Feminism and Sexuality 1880-1930 (1985).

L. McCray Beier, ‘‘We Were Green as Grass’: Learning about Sex and Reproduction in Three Working-class Lancashire Communities, 1900-1970’ Social History of Medicine 16 (2003) 461-480.

R. McKibbin ‘Introduction’ in M. Stopes, Married Love (2004).

L. Marks, Sexual Chemistry: A History of the Contraceptive Pill (2001).

F. Mort, Dangerous Sexualities: Medico-Moral Politics in England since 1830 (2000).

A. Oram and A. Turnbull (eds.), The Lesbian History Sourcebook: Love and Sex (2001).

R. Porter, Sexual Knowledge, Sexual Science: The History of Attitudes towards Sexuality (1994).

R. Porter and L. Hall, The Facts of Life: The Creation of Sexual Knowledge in Britain, 1650-1950 (1995).

Royal Commission on Population, Report (1949).

L. Stanley, Sex Surveyed 194`f9-94: from Mass Observation’s Little Kinsey to the National Survey and the Hite Report (1995).

S. Szretzer, Fertility, Class and Gender in Britain 1860-1940 (1996).

R. Titmuss and K. Titmuss, Parents Revolt: A Study of the Declining Birth-rate in Acquisitive Societies (1942).

P. Thane, ‘Population and the Family’ in P. Addison and H. Jones, A Companion to Contemporary Britain 1939-2000 (2005).

J. Weeks, Sex, Politics and Society: The Regulation of Sexuality since 1880 (1989).

J. Weeks et al (eds.), Sexualities and Society - A Reader (2003).


Seminar 14: The State and Family Breakdown

Patterns of marriage and divorce have altered beyond recognition between 1860 and the present. Before 1857, freedom to remarry could only be obtained by an act of Parliament, by the beginning of the twenty-first century two in five marriages ended in divorce. In this seminar we will consider how the changes brought about by acts such as the Matrimonial Causes Act of 1857 and Divorce Reform Act of 1969 changed the experience of marriage and divorce for the British people, and what this meant for family life.

Seminar/Essay Questions:

1. Why did traditional forms of marriage and family life remain dominant until the 1960s?

2. Was ‘companionate marriage’ ever more than an unattainable ideal?

3. ‘Marriage for women is almost always a mistake’ (Ann Oakley). Do you agree?

4. Is family breakdown a result of the ‘Welfare State’?

Seminar Reading:

1. J. Klein, ‘Irregular Marriages - Unorthodox Working-Class Domestic Life in Liverpool, Birmingham and Manchester, 1900-1939’ Journal of Family History 30 (2005) 210-229.

2. C. Langhamer, ‘Adultery in Post-war England’ History Workshop Journal 62 (2006) 87-115.

3. J. Lewis and P. Wallis, ‘Fault, Breakdown and the Church of England’s Involvement in the 1969 Divorce Reform’ Twentieth Century British History 11 (2000) 308-332.

4. G. Savage ‘Erotic Stories and Public Decency - Newspaper Reporting of Divorce Proceedings in England’ Historical Journal 41 (1998) 511-528.

5. B. Simpson, ‘Bringing the `Unclear' Family into Focus: Divorce and Re-Marriage in Contemporary Britain’, Man 29 (1994) 831-851.

Additional Reading:

J. Burgoyne et al, Divorce Matters (1987).

C. Clulow (ed.), Women, Men and Marriage: Talks from the Tavistock Marital Studies Institute (1995).

M. Collins, Modern Love (2003).

R. Fletcher, The Family and Marriage in Britain (1966).

J. Gillis, For Better For Worse. British Marriage 1600 to the Present (1985).

J. R. Gillis, ‘A Triumph of Hope Over Experience’- Chance and Choice in the History of Marriage’ International Review of Social History 44 (1999) 47-54.

C. Hamilton, Marriage as a Trade (1909).

J. Hammerton, Cruelty and Companionship: Conflict in Nineteenth-Century Married Life (1992).

J. Harris, Edwardian Stories of Divorce (2006).

A. Horstam, Victorian Divorce (1985).

P. Jalland, Women, Marriage and Politics 1860-1914 (1986).

J. Lewis, The End of Marriage? Individualism and Individual Relations (2001).

J. Lewis, ‘Marriage’ in I. Zweiniger-Bargielowska, Women in Twentieth-Century Britain (2001).

J. McAleer, ‘Scenes from Love and Marriage: Mills and Boon and the Popular Reading Industry in Britain, 1908-1950’ Twentieth-Century British History 1 (1990) 264-88.

A. McLaren, Twentieth Century Sexuality - A History (1999).

R.B. Outhwaite (ed.), Marriage and Society: Studies in the Social History of Marriage (1981).

R. Philips, Untying the Knot. A Short History of Divorce (1991).

Royal Commission on Divorce and Matrimonial Causes, Report (1912).

Royal Commission on Marriage and Divorce, Report (1956).

E.B. Silva and C. Smart (eds.), The New Family (1999).

C. Smart, ‘Divorce in England 1950-2000: A Moral Tale?’, in S. Katz, J. Eekelaar and M. Maclean (eds.), Cross Currents: Family Law and Policy in the US and England (2000), 363-387.

E. Slater and M. Woodside, Patterns of Marriage: A Study of Marriage Relationships in the Urban Working Classes (1951).

L. Stone, Road to Divorce, England 1530-1987 (1990).

J. Tosh, ‘From Keighley to St Denis: Separation and Intimacy in Victorian Bourgeois Marriage’, History Workshop Journal 40 (1995) 193-206.

M. Tromp, The Private Rod: Marital Violence, Sensation and the Law in Victorian Britain (2000).


Seminar 15: The Twenty-First Century Family

Families have never been simple or uniform. Lower life expectancy in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries meant that children could grow up with a lone parent or by other relatives or in care. While illegitimacy rates were relatively low, there were still many children brought up by unmarried mothers, by their grandmothers or adopted. War meant children grew up without fathers, some never returned. Lone parent families have been constantly been viewed as a problem, however, and in this seminar we will examine how and why this has occurred and what changes have taken place.

Seminar/Essay Questions:

1. Are step-families a late twentieth century development?

2. How and why have lone-parent families been stigmatised?

3. Why have patterns of family life have changed so much in the last thirty years?

Seminar Reading:

1. J. Ermisch and M. Francwesconi, ‘The Increasing Complexity of Family Relationships: Lifetime Experience of Lone Motherhood and Stepfamilies in Great Britain’ European Journal of Population 16 (2000), 235-49.

2. J. Fink, ‘Natural Mothers, Putative Fathers, and Innocent Children: The Definition and Regulation of Parental Relationships Outside Marriage, in England, 1945-1959’ Journal of Family History 25 (2000) 178-195.

3. J. Lewis and J. Welshman, ‘The Issue of Never-Married Motherhood in Britain’ Social History of Medicine 10 (1997) 401-418.

4. J. Millar, ‘State, Family and Personal Responsibility: The Changing Balance for Lone Mothers in the United Kingdom’ Feminist Review 48 (1994) 24 -39

5. C. Smart and B. Neale, ‘Good Enough Morality? Divorce and Postmodernity’ Critical Social Policy 17 (1997) 3-27.

Additional Reading:

J. Burgoyne and D. Clark, Making a Go of It (1984).

D. Clark (ed.), Marriage, Domestic Life and Social Change: Writings for Jacqueline Burgoyne (1991).

D. Coleman, ‘Population and Family’ in A. H. Halsey and J. Webb, Twentieth-Century British Social Trends (2000).

R. Crompton, Restructuring Gender Relations and Employment: The Decline of the Male Breadwinner (1999).

M. Drabble, The Millstone (1968).

M. Durham, Sex and Politics: The Family and Morality in the Thatcher Years (1991).

G. Gorell Barnes, P. Thompson, G. Daniel, and N. Burchardt, Growing Up in Stepfamilies (1997).

D. Gittins, The Family in Question (1985).

A. Holdsworth, Out of the Doll’s House (1988).

K. Kiernan, H. Land and J. Lewis, Lone Motherhood in twentieth Century Britain: From Footnote to Front Page (1998).

P. Letts, Double Struggle - Sex Discrimination and One-Parent Families (1983).

J. Lewis, ‘The Problem of Lone-mother Families in Twentieth-century Britain’ Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law 20 (1998) 251-83.

S. McRae, Changing Britain: Families and Households in the 1990s (1999).

J. Millar, ‘Poor Mothers and “Absent Fathers”: Support for Lone Parents in Comparative Perspective’ in H. Jones and J. Millar (eds.), The Politics of the Family (1996).

J. Muncie (ed.), Understanding the Family (1997).

A. Phoenix, Young Mothers? (1991).

V. Randall, ‘The Irresponsible State? The Politics of Child Daycare Provision in Britain’ British Journal of Political Science 25 (1995) 327-348.

R. Rapoport and R. N. Rapoport, Dual-Career Families (1971).

J. Renvoize, Going Solo: Single Mothers by Choice (1985).

J. Ribbens McCarthy, R. Edwards, Rosalind and V. Gillies, Making Families: Moral Tales of Parenting and Step-parenting (2003)

E. Roberts, Women and Families: An Oral History 1940-1970 (1995).

E. Shorter ‘Illegitimacy, Sexual Revolution and Social Change in Modern Europe’ Journal of Interdisciplinary History 2 (1971) 237-272.

E. B. Silva (ed.), Good Enough Mothering? Feminist Perspectives on Lone Motherhood (1995).

C. Tilly, (ed.), Historical Studies in Changing Fertility (1978).

A. Van Drenth, T. Knijn and J. Lewis, ‘Sources of Income for Lone Mother Families: Policy Changes in Britain and the Netherlands and the Experiences of Divorced Women’ Journal of Social Policy 28 (1999) 619-641.

J. Weeks et al, Same Sex Intimacies - Families of Choice and Other Life Experiments (2001).

J. Williams, H. Twort and A. Bachelli, ‘Women and the family’, in M. Wandor, Once a Feminist: Stories of a Generation (1990).