Identities and Social Change in Britain since 1940: The Politics of Method

Paperback | June 7, 2010

byMike Savage

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Identities and Social Change in Britain since 1940 examines how, between 1940 and 1970 British society was marked by the imprint of the academic social sciences in profound ways which have an enduring legacy on how we see ourselves. It focuses on how interview methods and sample surveyseclipsed literature and the community study as a means of understanding ordinary life. The book shows that these methods were part of a wider remaking of British national identity in the aftermath of decolonisation in which measures of the rational, managed nation eclipsed literary and romanticones. It also links the emergence of social science methods to the strengthening of technocratic and scientific identities amongst the educated middle classes, and to the rise in masculine authority which challenged feminine expertise.This book is the first to draw extensively on archived qualitative social science data from the 1930s to the 1960s, which it uses to offer a unique, personal and challenging account of post war social change in Britain. It also uses this data to conduct a new kind of historical sociology of thesocial sciences, one that emphasises the discontinuities in knowledge forms and which stresses how disciplines and institutions competed with each other for reputation. Its emphasis on how social scientific forms of knowing eclipsed those from the arts and humanities during this period offers aradical re-thinking of the role of expertise today which will provoke social scientists, scholars in the humanities, and the general reader alike.

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Identities and Social Change in Britain since 1940 examines how, between 1940 and 1970 British society was marked by the imprint of the academic social sciences in profound ways which have an enduring legacy on how we see ourselves. It focuses on how interview methods and sample surveyseclipsed literature and the community study as a ...

Mike Savage is Professor of Sociology at the University of Manchester, where he is Director of the ESRC's Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC). He has written extensively on social change in Britain after 1945 notably in Class Analysis and Social Transformation (2000) and in Globalisation and Belonging (with Gaynor Bag...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pagesPublished:June 7, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199587663

ISBN - 13:9780199587667

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Table of Contents

Preface and acknowledgementsIntroduction1. 2005 to 1938: Lifting social groups out of the landscape.Part I: Technical Identities and Social Change2. 1938: The British intellectual and high-brow culture3. 1954: The challenge of technical identity4. 1950: The resurgence of gentlemanly expertise in post-war Britain.5. 1962: The moment of sociologyPart II: The Social Science Apparatus6. 1956: The end of community: the quest for the English Middletown7. 1951: The interview and the melodrama of social mobility8. 1941: The sample survey and the modern rational nationPart III: Technique and Expertise9. 2009: The Politics of MethodReferencesAppendix: Details of Archival Sources consulted