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Stephen Constantine's Social Conditions in Britain 1918-1939 (Lancaster Pamphlets) PDF

By Stephen Constantine

One well known photo of the interwar years portrays the interval as a time of melancholy, deprivation and rot. although, a lot contemporary paintings has tended to take, on stability, a extra positive view of social stipulations. during this pamphlet Dr Constantine examines the foundation for such conclusions by way of reviewing the altering employment porspects for handbook and non-manual staff, degrees of kinfolk expenditure on nutrition, buyer items and relaxation actions, the level and reasons of poverty, the standard of interwar housing and the documents of the nation's future health. the results on residing criteria of demographic switch, financial development, salary degrees and executive guidelines are thought of. The interval is noticeable as a time of transition, witnessing major shifts clear of older styles of employment and social stipulations in the direction of these attribute of an affulent mass patron society. notwithstanding, there have been casualties from this means of sped up swap, and sophistication and local inequalities remained.

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A. Jackson, Semi-Detached London ( Allen & Unwin, 1973). An entertaining local study for transport and housing enthusiasts. 12 J. Burnett, Plenty and Want ( Scolar, 1979, now available from Methuen ). A social history of diet since 1815. 13 B. S. Rowntree, Poverty and Progress ( Longman, 1941). 14 J. B. Priestley, English Journey ( Gollancz, 1934, reprinted by Penguin, 1977). 15 W. Greenwood, Love on the Dole ( Cape, 1933, reprinted by Penguin, 1969). Three readily available contemporary works, the latter being the classic novel of life in the depressed North of England.

It was at least reasonable to suggest that the biological limits could not have been reached, and that room for further improvement would remain, until the disadvantaged 41 came to enjoy the standard of health already reached by the healthiest social classes and healthiest parts of the country. Conclusion Research shows that more attention ought to be paid than has been customary to the signs of substantial improvement in social conditions between the wars. Those subordinate images of affluence are not deceitful.

It was better to be born in Hastings with an infant mortality rate in 1934 of 35 deaths per 1000 live births or in Oxfordshire with 38, rather than in Co. Durham with 78, Salford with 92 or Barrow-in-Furness with 98. 3 in Scotland, 104 in Glasgow. That is an awful lot of dead babies (1, 2, 8). 40 Explanations of such regional inequalities may point to the less developed medical services outside London and the South East: fewer doctors, hospital beds, clinics and so on. There were also the poorer environmental conditions in the older industrial areas of northern England, southern Scotland and South Wales: the preponderance of older housing stock and the worse overcrowding in these regions have already been discussed.

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