1st Edition

The British Working Class 1832-1940

ISBN 9780582381308
Published March 29, 2007 by Routledge
296 Pages

USD $49.95

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Book Description

In this insightful new study, Andrew August examines the British working class in the period when Britain became a mature industrial power, working men and women dominated massive new urban populations, and the extension of suffrage brought them into the political nation for the first time. 

Framing his subject chronologically, but treating it thematically, August gives a vivid account of working class life between the mid-nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries, examining the issues and concerns central to working-class identity. Identifying shared patterns of experience in the lives of workers, he avoids the limitations of both traditional historiography dominated by economic determinism and party politics, and the revisionism which too readily dismisses the importance of class in British society. 

Table of Contents

PART I: 1832-1870

Introduction: Britain in 1832

1.  Forming the Urban Working Class

2.  Labor in the “Factory Age”

3.  Leisure and the Urban Worker

4.  Working-Class Identity and Politics

PART II: 1870-1914

Introduction: Discontinuity in 1870?

5.  The “Traditional” Working-Class Community

6.  Control, Conflict and Collective Bargaining in the Workplace

7.  Expanding Leisure Opportunities

8.  Class Identity and Everyday Politics

PART III: 1914-1940
Introduction: The Working Class and the Great War

9.  Old and New Working-Class Communities

10. Unemployment, Dislocation and New Industries

11. Cinema, Dance Hall and Streets

12. Patriotism, Politics and Identity

Conclusion:  Change and Continuity, 1832-1940


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Andrew August is Associate Professor of History in the Abington College of Penn State University, Pennsylvania, USA. He is the author of Poor Women's Lives: Gender, Work and Poverty in Late-Victorian London (1999).