Saturday, 17 December 2011

Class

The fourth volume in the Nineteenth Century British Society series has now been published on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Nineteenth-Century-British-Society-ebook/dp/B006MY93GK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1324111713&sr=1-1

All societies are, to some degree, stratified or divided into different social groups. These groups may be in competition with each other for social control or wealth. They may be functional, defined by their contribution to society as a whole. They may share common ‘values’, have a common ‘national identity’ or they may form part of a pluralistic society in which different ‘values’ coexist with varying degrees of consensus or conflict. They have different names like ‘castes’ or ‘ranks’or ‘classes’. British society in the nineteenth and early-twentieth century has been called a ‘class society’ but there are some differences between historians about its precise meaning or whether it is meaningful at all.

This volume examines the nature of social class in the nineteenth and early-twentieth century. The book first examines the ways in which contemporaries and historians have viewed class and how a ‘class’society developed as the result of economic change. The remaining three chapters follow the conventional three class definition and consider the working-classes, middle-classes and upper-classes. Particular regard is placed on the changing role of working-class and middle-class women and how their economic, social and cultural roles changed when faced with massive economic dislocation and male-dominated outlooks.

The book is divided into five chapters:

  1. Class

  2. The working-classes

  3. The middle-classes

  4. The Upper Class

Further Reading identifies the most valuable books on these subjects while the detailed notes provide a guide for further research.

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