Drunk with the Glitter examines the ways in which urban modernity reshapes 'cultural experience'. In particular, it explores the ways that categories of sexual identity and behaviour were reformulated in relation to the restructuring of urban space and the introduction of new cultures of consumption in a period of modernization.
How did the 'altered conditions' of postwar Britain help to inaugurate new patterns of sociability, cultural attachment and intimate encounter?
Each chapter focuses on an area of public controversy which directed attention to those forms of sexual instability identified as threatening to national cohesion, including:
'Women of easy virtue and thoroughly filthy fellows, ageing roues and problem girls, harlots in cars and perfect poppets: Gillian Swanson provides a dazzling gallery of the sexualised figures who inhabited the urban landscape of an emergent modern Britain. She combines a breathtaking story, full of drama and pathos, with sharp-eyed analytical interpretation. With compelling audacity she places the sexualised pathologies of twentieth-century Britain at the very heart of our understanding of how modern life works. Swanson delivers an incomparable, wry backward glance at the disorderly nation, her own sympathies evident on every page.' - Bill Schwarz, Queen Mary, University of London, UK
'The detailed descriptions of historically grounded psychological, policy and social management perspectives, the disciplines that sought to define deviance in the landscape of post-war Britain, offer much to researchers of transgressive urban cultures.' - Urban Studies
Introduction: Urban Modernity and Sexual Instability - Space, Movement and Dispersal 1. 'So Much Money and So Little to Spend It On': Sexual Excitations and Familial Devotions 2. 'The Gratification of the Moment … The Limit of their Mental Horizon': Eugenics, Psychology and the 'Problem Girl' 3. 'Shattered into a Multiplicity of Warring Functions': Synthetic Culture, Disintegration and 'Distractibility' 4. 'A Harlot Hires a Car': Prostitution, Dispersal and Displacement in the Wolfenden Report 5. Homosexuality, Seduction and Psychosis: 'Flying and Drowning' with 'Lawrence of Arabia' 6. 'Good Time Girls' and a 'Thoroughly Filthy Fellow': Sexual Pathology and National Character in the Profumo Affair