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HIST1300
HIST1300 Reading List - Mass Observation: Childhood and Youth in 1930s England

Primary Sources for the Historian: An Introduction to Documentary study, 2019/20, Semester 2
Professor Stephen Alford
S.Alford@leeds.ac.uk
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

Week 1: Introduction to the module

There is no set reading for this class.

Week 2: Thinking about childhood in the past

Required reading:

Barron, Hester and Claire Langhamer, ‘Feeling through practice: subjectivity and emotion in children’s writing’, Journal of Social History, 51.1 (2017), pp. 101–123  

Hendrick, Harry, ‘Constructions and reconstructions of British childhood: an interpretative survey, 1800 to present’, in Allison James and Alan Prout (eds.), Constructing and Reconstructing Childhood: Contemporary Issues in the Sociological Study of Childhood (Falmer Press: London, 1997), pp. 33-60  

Further reading:

On Mass Observation and the ‘Worktown’ Project

Hinton, James, The Mass Observers: A History, 1937-1949 (Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2013)

These historians draw on children’s writings in their research and discuss the methodological challenges of using them as a historical source

Bruce, Emily C., ‘‘Each word shows how you love me’: The social literacy practice of children’s letter writing (1780-1860)’, Paedagogica Historica, 50.3 (2014), pp. 247-264 

Halstead, Claire L., ''Dear mummy and daddy': reading wartime letters from British children evacuated to Canada during the Second World War', in Shirleene Robinson and Simon Sleight, Children, Childhood and Youth in the British World (Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke, 2016), pp. 92-108 

Musgrove, Nell, Carla Pascoe Leahy and Kristine Moruzi, ‘Hearing children’s voices: conceptual and methodological challenges’, in Kristine Moruzi, Nell Musgrove and Carla Pascoe Leahy (eds.), Children’s Voices from the Past: New Historical and Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Palgrave Macmillan: Cham, 2019), pp. 19-43

Pooley, Siân, ‘Children’s writing and the popular press in England 1876–1914’, History Workshop Journal, 80.1 (2015), pp. 75-98

Steedman, Caroline, The Tidy House: Little Girls Writing (Virago Press Limited: London, 1982) 

Week 3: Gender and class

Required reading:

Dyhouse, Carol, Girls Growing Up in Late Victorian and Edwardian England (Routledge and Kegan Paul: London, 1981), chapter 1, pp. 3-39  

King, Laura, ‘Hidden fathers?: The significance of fatherhood in mid-twentieth-century Britain’, Contemporary British History, 26.1 (2012), pp. 25-46.  

Further reading:

Barron, Hester and Claire Langhamer, ‘Feeling through practice: subjectivity and emotion in children’s writing’, Journal of Social History, 51.1 (2017), pp. 101–123

Benson, John, The Working Class in Britain, 1850-1939 (Longman: London, 1989)

Bourke, Joanna, Working-Class Cultures in Britain, 1890-1960: Gender, Class and Ethnicity (Routledge: London, 1996), first published 1994, especially chapter 3

Davin, Anna, Growing Up Poor: Home, School and Street in London, 1870-1914 (River Orams Press: London, 1996), especially pp. 175-190

Dyhouse, Carol, Girls Growing Up in Late Victorian and Edwardian England (Routledge and Kegan Paul: London, 1981)

Grant, Julia, ‘A “real boy” and not a sissy: gender, childhood and masculinity, 1890-1940’, Journal of Social History, 37.4 (2004), pp. 829-851 

Greenhalgh, James, ‘‘Till we hear the last all clear”: gender and the presentation of the self in young girls’ writing about the bombing of Hull during the Second World War’, Gender and History, 26.1 (2014), pp. 167-183

Hamlett, Jane, ‘‘Tiresome trips downstairs’: Middle-class domestic space and family relationships in England, 1850-1910’, in Lucy Delap, Ben Griffin and Abigail Wills (eds.), The Politics of Domestic Authority in Britain since 1800 (Palgrave Macmillain: Houndsmill, 2009), pp. 111-131

King, Laura, Family Men: Fatherhood and Masculinity in Britain, 1914-1960 (Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2015) 

Langhamer, Claire, Women’s Leisure in England, 1920-1960 (Manchester University Press: Manchester, 2000), especially chapter 3

Roberts, Elizabeth, A Woman’s Place: An Oral History of Working-Class Women 1890-1940, (Basil Blackwell: Oxford, 1985) 

Ross, Ellen, Love and Toil: Motherhood in Outcast London, 1870-1918 (Oxford University Press: New York, 1993)

Strange, Julie-Marie, Fatherhood and the British Working Class, 1865-1914(Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 2015)

Tinkler, Penny, Constructing Girlhood: Popular Magazines for Girls Growing Up in England, 1920-1950 (Taylor & Francis: London, 1995), especially chapter 5

Tebbutt, Melanie, Being Boys: Youth, Leisure and Identity in the Inter-War Years (Manchester University Press: Manchester, 2012), chapter 2, pp. 70-105 

Week 4: Siblings, age and birth order

Required reading:

Holden, Katherine, ‘Family, caring and unpaid work’, in Ina Zweiniger-Bargielowska (ed.), Women in Twentieth-Century Britain: Social, Cultural and Political Change (Routledge: Oxon, 2014), pp. 134-148  

Todd, Selina, ‘Breadwinners and dependants: working-class young people in England, 1918–1955’, International Review of Social History, 52.1 (2007), pp. 57-87  

Further reading:

Anderson, Michael, ‘Highly restricted fertility: very small families in the British fertility decline’, Population Studies, 52.1 (1998), pp. 177-199

Davidoff, Leonore, Thicker Than Water: Siblings and their Relations, 1780-1920 (Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2012) 

Davin, Anna, Growing Up Poor: Home, School and Street in London, 1870-1914 (River Orams Press: London, 1996)

Hamlett, Jane, ‘‘Tiresome trips downstairs’: Middle-class domestic space and family relationships in England, 1850-1910’, in Lucy Delap, Ben Griffin and Abigail Wills (eds.), The Politics of Domestic Authority in Britain since 1800 (Palgrave Macmillain: Houndsmill, 2009), pp. 111-131

Humphries, Stephen, Hooligans or Rebels? An Oral History of Working-Class Childhood and Youth 1889-1939, (Blackwell: Oxford, 1995) First published 1981, especially chapter 6

Roberts, Elizabeth, A Woman’s Place: An Oral History of Working-Class Women 1890-1940, (Basil Blackwell: Oxford, 1985) 

Tebbutt, Melanie, ‘Imagined families and vanished communities: memories of a working-class life in Northampton’, History Workshop Journal, 73.1 (2012), pp. 141-169

Todd, Selina, ‘Young women, work and leisure in interwar England’, The Historical Journal, 48.3 (2005), pp. 789-809

Sociological studies of sibling relationships

Edwards, Rosalind, Lucy Hadfield, Helen Lucey and Melanie Mauthner, Sibling Identity and Relationships: Sisters and Brothers (Routledge: London, 2006) 

Laybourn, Ann, The Only Child: Myths and Realities (HMSO: Edinburgh, 1994)

Punch, Samantha, ‘Negotiating autonomy: childhoods in rural Bolivia’, in Leena Alanen and Berry Mayall, Conceptualising Child-Adult Relations (RoutledgeFalmer: London: 2001), pp. 23-36  

Week 5: Region

Required reading:

Barron, Hester and Claire Langhamer, ‘Feeling through practice: subjectivity and emotion in children’s writing’, Journal of Social History, 51:1 (2017), pp. 101–123  

Stevenson, John and Chris Cook, The Slump: Britain in the Great Depression (Routledge: Oxon, 2010), Third Edition, chapters 2 and 3  

Further reading:

Benson, John, The Working Class in Britain, 1850-1939 (Longman: London, 1989)

Bourke, Joanna, Working-Class Cultures in Britain, 1890-1960: Gender, Class and Ethnicity (Routledge: London, 1996), first published 1994, especially chapter 5

Davin, Anna, Growing Up Poor: Home, School and Street in London, 1870-1914 (River Orams Press: London, 1996)

Roberts, Elizabeth, A Woman’s Place: An Oral History of Working-Class Women 1890-1940, (Basil Blackwell: Oxford, 1985)  

Todd, Selina, ‘Poverty and aspiration: young women’s entry to employment in inter-war England’, Twentieth Century British History, 15.2 (2004), pp. 119-142

Vernon, James, Hunger: A Modern History (Harvard University Press: London, 2007)

On Bolton

Gazeley, Ian and Claire Langhamer, ‘The meanings of happiness in Mass Observation’s Bolton’, History Workshop Journal, 75.1 (2013), pp. 159-189

Hinton, James, The Mass Observers: A History, 1937-1949 (Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2013), especially chapter 2

Week 6: School and working-class families

Required reading:

Barron, Hester, ‘Parents, teachers and children’s wellbeing in London, 1918-1937’, in Hester Barron and Claudia Siebrecht (eds.), Parenting and the State in Britain and Europe c. 1870-1950: Raising the Nation (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), pp. 137-159  

Davin, Anna, Growing Up Poor: Home, School and Street in London, 1870-1914 (London: River Orams Press, 1996), ‘Caretakers or Schoolchildren’, pp. 85-96 and ‘Needed at Home’, pp. 97-112  

Further reading:

Barron, Hester and Claudia Siebrecht (eds.), Parenting and the State in Britain and Europe c. 1870-1950: Raising the Nation (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)

Behlmer, George K., Friends of the Family: The English Home and its Guardians, 1850-1940 (Stanford University Press: Stanford, 1998)

Cunningham, Hugh, The Children of the Poor: Representations of Childhood since the Seventeenth Century (Blackwell: Oxford, 1991)

Dyhouse, Carol, Girls Growing Up in Late Victorian and Edwardian England (Routledge and Kegan Paul: London, 1981)

Edwards, Elizabeth, ‘The culture of femininity in women’s teacher training colleges, 1914-1945’, in Sybil Oldfield, The Working-Day World: Women’s Lives and Culture(s) in Britain, 1914-1945 (Taylor and Francis: London, 1994)

Hendrick, Harry, Children, Childhood and English Society, 1880-1990 (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 1997)

Hendrick, Harry, Child Welfare: Historical Dimensions, Contemporary Debate (Policy Press: Bristol, 2003)

Humphries, Stephen, Hooligans or Rebels? An Oral History of Working-Class Childhood and Youth 1889-1939 (Blackwell: Oxford, 1995) First published 1981

Roberts, Elizabeth, A Woman’s Place: An Oral History of Working-Class Women 1890-1940 (Basil Blackwell: Oxford, 1985) 

Rose, Jonathan, The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes (London: Yale University Press, 2001), especially chapter 5

St John, Diana E., ‘Educate or domesticate?: early twentieth century pressures on older girls in elementary school’, Women’s History Review, 3.2 (1994), 191-218 

Week 7: Educating future citizens

Required reading:

Dyhouse, Carol, ‘Good wives and little mothers: social anxieties and the schoolgirls’ curriculum, 1880-1920’, Oxford Review of Education, 3.1 (1977), pp. 21-35  

Roberts, Elizabeth, A Woman’s Place: An Oral History of Working-Class Women 1890-1940, (Basil Blackwell: Oxford, 1985), chapter 1  

Welshman, John, ‘‘Bringing beauty and brightness to the back streets': health education and public health in England and Wales, 1890-1940’, Health Education Journal, 56.2 (1997), pp. 199-209  

Further reading:

Davin, Anna, 'Imperialism and motherhood'History Workshop, 5 (1978), pp. 9-65 

Fisher, Tim, ‘Fatherhood and the British fathercraft movement, 1919–39’, 17.2 (2015), pp. 441-462

King, Laura, ‘Future citizens: cultural and political conceptions of children in Britain, 1930s-1950s’, Twentieth Century British History, 27:3 (2016), pp. 389-411

 Lewis, Jane, ‘The social history of social policy: infant welfare in Edwardian England’, Journal of Social Policy, 9.4 (1980), 463-486 

Pilcher, Jane, ‘Body work: childhood, gender and school health education in England, 1870-1977', Childhood, 14.2 (2007), 215-233

St John, Diana E., ‘Educate or domesticate?: early twentieth century pressures on older girls in elementary school’, Women’s History Review, 3.2 (1994), 191-218 

Vernon, James, ‘The ethics of hunger and the assembly of society: The techno-politics of the school meal in modern Britain’, American Historical Review, 110.3 (2005), pp. 693-725 

Week 8: Leisure and popular culture

Required reading:

Davies, Andrew, Leisure, Gender and Poverty: Working-Class Culture in Salford and Manchester, 1900-1939 (Buckingham: Open University Press, 1992), chapter 4  

Smith, Sarah J., ‘‘A riot at the palace’: children’s cinema-going in 1930s Britain’, Journal of British Cinema and Television, 2.2 (2005), pp. 275-289  

Springhall, John, Youth, Popular Culture and Moral Panics (Houndsmill: Macmillan Press, 1988) – chapter 4, pp. 98-120  

Further Reading:

Barron, Hester and Claire Langhamer, ‘Feeling through practice: subjectivity and emotion in children’s writing’, Journal of Social History, 51.1 (2017), pp. 101–123

Kuhn, Annette, ‘Children’s ‘horrific’ films and censorship in 1930s Britain’, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 22.2 (2002), pp. 197-202

Kuhn, Annette, An Everyday Magic: Cinema and Cultural Memory (I.B. Tauris: London, 2002)

Pooley, Siân, ‘Children’s writing and the popular press in England 1876–1914’, History Workshop Journal, 80:1 (2015), pp. 75-98.

Richards, Jeffrey, The Age of the Dream Palace: Cinema and Society in Britain, 1930-1939 (Routledge and Kegan Paul: London, 1984)

Rose, Jonathan, The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes (London: Yale University Press, 2001), especially chapter 11

Tinkler, Penny, Constructing Girlhood: Popular Magazines for Girls Growing Up in England, 1920-1950 (Taylor & Francis: London, 1995)

Todd, Selina, ‘Young women, work and leisure in interwar England’, The Historical Journal, 48.3 (2005), pp. 789-809

Week 9: Play

Required reading:

Forman-Brunell, Miriam, Made to Play House: Dolls and the Commercialization of American Girlhood (Yale University Press: London, 1993) chapter 7  

Thomson, Mathew, Lost Freedom: The Landscape of the Child and the British Post-War Settlement (Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2013), chapter 1, pp. 21-46  

Further reading:

Barron, Hester and Claire Langhamer, ‘Feeling through practice: subjectivity and emotion in children’s writing’Journal of Social History, 51.1 (2017), pp. 101–123

Cross, Gary, 'Play, Games and Toys', in Paula Fass (ed.), The Routledge History of Childhood in the Western World (Taylor and Francis, 2013), chapter 14

Davey, Gwenda Beed, Kate Darian-Smith and Carla Pascoe, ‘Playlore as cultural heritage: traditions and change in Australian children’s play’, in Children, Childhood and Cultural Heritage, ed. by Kate Darian-Smith and Carla Pascoe (Routledge: London, 2013), pp. 40-54

Dawson, Graham, Soldier Heroes: British Adventure, Empire and the Imagining of Masculinities (Routledge: London, 1994), especially chapter 4

Grant, Julia, ‘A ‘real boy’ and not a sissy: gender, childhood and masculinity, 1890-1940’, Journal of Social History, 37.4 (2004), pg. 829-851

Oakley, Ann, The Sociology of Housework (Martin Robertson: Oxford, 1974), especially chapter 7 

Punch, Samantha, ‘Children’s strategies for creating playspaces: Negotiating independence in rural Bolivia’, in Sarah L. Holloway and Gill Valentine (eds.), Children’s Geographies: Playing, Living, Learning (Routledge: London, 2000)

Sleight, Simon, Young People and the Shaping of Public Space in Melbourne, 1870-1914 (Ashgate: Farnham, 2013), especially chapter 2

 

Week 10: Growing Up

Required reading:

Alexander, Sally, ‘Becoming a woman in London in the 1920s and 1930s’, in David Feldman and Gareth Stedman Jones (eds.), Metropolis: Histories and Representations since 1800 (Routledge: London, 1989), pp. 245-271  

Todd, Selina, ‘Young women, work and leisure in interwar England’, The Historical Journal, 48:3 (2005), pp. 789-809  

Barron, Hester and Claire Langhamer, ‘Children, class and the search for security: writing the future in 1930s Britain’, Twentieth Century British History, 28.3 (2017), pp. 367-389  

Further reading:

Benninghaus, Christina, translated by Deborah Laurie Cohen, ‘Mothers’ toil and daughters’ leisure: working-class girls and time in 1920s Germany’, History Workshop Journal, 50 (2000), pp. 45-72 

Langhamer, Claire, Women’s Leisure in England, 1920-1960 (Manchester University Press: Manchester, 2000), especially chapter 3

Tinkler, Penny, ‘Girlhood and growing up’, in Ina Zweiniger-Bargielowska (ed.), Women in Twentieth-Century Britain: Social, Cultural and Political Change (Routledge: Oxon, 2014), pp. 35-50

Todd, Selina, ‘Breadwinners and dependants: working-class young people in England, 1918–1955’, International Review of Social History, 52.1 (2007), pp. 57-87

Todd, Selina, ‘Poverty and aspiration: young women’s entry to employment in inter-war England’, Twentieth Century British History, 15.2 (2004), pp. 119-142

Week 11: Presentations and conclusions 

There is no set reading for this class.

 

 

 

This list was last updated on 17/03/2020