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Wolverhampton Intellectual Repository and E-Theses > E-Theses > E-Theses > “Old habits persist” Change and continuity in Black Country communities: Pensnett, Sedgley and Tipton, 1945-c.1970

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2436/129932
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Title: “Old habits persist” Change and continuity in Black Country communities: Pensnett, Sedgley and Tipton, 1945-c.1970
Authors: Watkiss Singleton, Rosalind
Advisors: Gildart,Keith
Henderson, P.
Publisher: University of Wolverhampton
Issue Date: 2010
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2436/129932
Abstract: This thesis examines continuity and change in the three Black Country localities of Pensnett, Tipton and Sedgley between 1945 and c1970. The dominant historiography of the period suggests that the prosperity of post-war British society, the safety-net of state welfare provision and unprecedented levels of consumer spending mostly eradicated the inter-war behaviour patterns of individuals, families and communities. Utilising the oral testimony of sixty residents from the three localities, and supplemented by a range of primary sources, the thesis demonstrates that growing affluence impacted only marginally upon the customary social mores of the lowermiddle and working-class inhabitants. Whilst aspirations to new housing and increased consumption affected perceptions of status and social standing, the economic strategies of the pre-war period prevailed. The thesis evaluates the effect of affluence upon earning, spending and saving. It questions assumptions that the support of kinship networks, matrilocality and community cohesion disappeared as slums were replaced with new housing estates. It demonstrates that the Welfare State impacted little upon attitudes to income and employment and that the wages derived from formal employment were augmented by informal work, penny-capitalist ventures and illicit activities. It shows that despite embracing the consumer society, families within these localities adhered to traditional methods of shopping and the financing of consumption. The thesis challenges the work of a range of historians who have emphasised change over continuity in characterisations of British society in the post-war period and endorses Hoggart’s claims that despite post-war innovations “old habits persist”
Type: Thesis or dissertation
Language: en
Description: A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Wolverhampton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords: Black Country
Community
Post-war
Continuity
Consumption
Employment
Appears in Collections: E-Theses

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