Questions to prepare for seminar:
- To what extent did interwar Britain see the emergence of a ‘common culture’?
- How did gender, class and age shape access to common culture?
- How did ideas of ‘class’ and ‘taste’ relate to each other in interwar Britain?
- What made some people so afraid of 1930s youth culture?
- Please take a look at one of the digitised sources from the following two Modern Records Centre collections, and come prepared to briefly talk about it in relation to this week's seminar questions:
- Also, please can you read:
- Cardiff, D. & Scannell, P. (1987), ‘Broadcasting and National Unity’ in: Curran, J., Smith, A. & Wingate, P. (eds.) 1987, Impacts and Influences: Essays on Media Power in the Twentieth Century, London: Methuen, pp. 157-173 (Digitised Source)
- Selina Todd, ‘Young Women, Work and Leisure in Interwar England’, The Historical Journal 48:3 (Sept 2005), 789-809.
- Good general stuff: LeMahieu, D.L. (1988), ‘History Workshop Journal, No. 42 (Autumn, 1996), pp. 173-179Sight and Sound: Studies in Convergence’ in A Culture for Democracy: Mass Communication and the Cultivated Mind in Britain between the Wars, Oxford: Clarendon Press, pp. 227-292 (Digitised Source); Allison Abra, ‘Doing the Lambeth Walk: Novelty Dances and the British Nation’ Twentieth Century British History20:3 (2009), 346-369.; McKibbin, R. (1998), ‘The Sporting Life’ in: Classes and Cultures: England, 1918-1951, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 332-385 (Digitised Source); Wiener, M.J. 1981, The ‘English Way of Life’?. In: English Culture and the Decline of the Industrial Spirit 1850-1980, Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, pp. 41-80 (Digitised Source)
- On the gender politics and sexual transgressions of new modes of leisure and culture: Houlbrook, ‘The Man with the Powder Puff in Interwar London’, The Historical Journal 50:1 (2007), 145-171.; Marek Kohn, ‘Cocaine Girls: Sex, Drugs and Modernity in London during and after the First Word War’, in P. Gootenberg (ed.), Cocaine: Global Histories (Routledge, 1999)
- On the City and the Suburb: Jeffrey, ‘The Suburban Nation: Politics and Class in Lewisham’, in G. Stedman Jones & D. Feldman (eds.), Metropolis London: Histories and Representations since 1800 (1989), pp. 189-216; M. Clapson, Invincible Green Suburbs, Brave New Towns: Social Change and Urban Dispersal in Postwar England (1998); C. Pursell, ‘Domesticating Modernity: The Electrical Association for Women, 1924-1986’, British Journal for the History of Science 32 (1999), 47-67; A. Light, Forever England: Femininity, Literature and Conservatism between the Wars (1991); Judy Giles, Women, Identity and Private Life 1900-1950 (1985).
- For an introduction to the divisions within national culture: J. Bourke, Working-Class Cultures in Britain 1880-1960 (1994), chapter 6 ‘Britishness; for a more detailed survey: Ross McKibbin, Classes and Cultures: England 1918-1951 (1998).
- Arguing for a polarisation between elite and mass culture: J. Carey, The Intellectuals and the Masses: Pride and Prejudice Among the Literary Intelligentsia 1880-1939 (1992).
- By contrast, presenting an important argument for the emergence of a unifying, modernising, democratic culture: D. LeMahieu, A Culture for Democracy: Mass Communications and the Cultivated Mind in Britain between the Wars (1988).
- On intellectual culture in the period: Stefan Collini, Absent Minds: Intellectuals in Britain (2006).
- On the persistence of intellectualism and serious reading habits within working-class culture: J. Rose, The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes (2001).
- On the shift from a predominantly local to national press: A. Lee, The Origins of the Popular Press in England, 1855-1914 (1976); also S. Koss, The Rise and Fall of the Political Press in Britain, vol 2 (1984); T. Jeffrey & K. McClelland, ‘A World Fit to Live In: The Daily Mail and the Middle Classes, 1918-3’, in J. Curran & A. Smith & P. Wingate (eds), Impacts and Influences: Essays in Media Power in the Twentieth Century (1987), 27-52; J. Curran & J. Seaton, Power without Responsibility: The Press and Broadcasting in Britain (1991).
- On the role of broadcasting: Paddy Scannell & David Cardiff, 'Broadcasting and National Unity', in J. Curran (ed.), Impacts and Influences (1987); Paddy Scannell, 'Public Service Broadcasting and Modern Public Life', Media, Culture and Society, 11 (1989), 135-66; Paddy Scannell & David Cardiff, A Social History of British Broadcasting, Vol I, 1922-39 (1991); McKibbin, Classes and Cultures, chapter 12; A. Briggs, The Golden Age of Broadcasting (1965); Thomas Hajkowski, The BBC and National Identity in Britain, 1922-53 (2010).
- On the cinema (note here also the theme of Americanisation): A. Higson, Waving the Flag: Constructing a National Cinema in Britain (1995); McKibbin, Classes and Cultures, chapter11; S. Harper, Picturing the Past: The Rise and Fall of the British Costume Film (1994); K. Bamford, Distorted Images: British National Identity and Film in the 1920s (1999); J. Richards, The Age of the Dream Palace: Cinema and Society in Britain 193039 (1984).
- On literature: J. Rose, The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes (2001); McKibbin, Classes and Cultures, chapter 13; N. Joicey, ‘A Paperback Guide to Progress: Penguin Books, 1935-1951’, Twentieth Century British History, 4 (1993), 25-56; J.McAleer, ‘Scenes from Love and Marriage: Mills & Boon and the Popular Publishing Industry in Britain 1908-50’, Twentieth Century British History, 1 (1990), 264-88; J. McAleer, Popular Reading and Publishing in Britain, 19014-50 (1992); J. Winter, ‘British National Identity and the First World War’, in S. Green & C. Whiting (eds.), The Boundaries of the State in Modern Britain; and for a useful collection of contemporary writing J. Giles & T. Middleton, Writing Englishness 1900-1950 (1995).
- On music: McKibbin, Classes and Cultures, chapter 10; S. Frith, ‘The Making of the British Records Industry’, in J. Curran, A. Smith, & P. Wingate (eds.), Impacts and Influences (1987).
- On speech and dialect: P.J. Waller, ‘Democracy and Dialect, Speech and Class’, in P.J. Waller (ed.), Politics and Social Change in Modern Britain (1987).
- On sport: McKibbin, Classes and Cultures, chapter 9; John Benson, The Rise of Consumer Society in Britain, 1880-1980 (1994), chapter 6; Derek Birley, Sport and the Making of Modern Britain (1993); Richard Holt, Sport and the British: A Modern History (1989); Richard Holt, Sport and the Working Class in Modern Britain (1990); T. Mason (ed.), Sport in Britain: A Social History (1989); J. Lowerson, Sport and the English Middle Classes, 1870-1914; G. Jarvie & G. Walker (eds.), Scottish Sport in the Making of a Nation (1994); M. Marquese, Anyone but England: Cricket, Race and Class (1998).
- On Americanisation: Joel Wiener and Mark Hampton (eds.), Anglo-American Media Interactions, 1850-2000 (2007).
- On the role of consumption: John Benson, The Rise of a Consumer Society (1994), esp. chapter 5, Gary Cross, Time and Money: The Making of a Consumer Culture (1993).