Industry and the interior life: industrial 'experts' and the mental world of workers in twentieth century Britain
Whitelaw, Brooke Emma (2009) Industry and the interior life: industrial 'experts' and the mental world of workers in twentieth century Britain. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b2283125~S9
This thesis explores representations and discussion of the ‘interior’ life of industrial workers in psychological, literary and sociological discourse published between 1900 and 1970 in twentieth-century Britain. The attempts of amateur and professional psychologists, writers and sociologists to uncover, decipher and accurately represent the mental world of industrial workers is examined with reference to broader medical and psychological conceptualisations of the influences and effects that different types of labour exercised over the minds and bodies of individuals. The following chapters focus upon industrial psychological, sociological and autobiographical literature from the period, tracing contrasting explanations and solutions for expressions of unease and dissatisfaction in industrial environments. The main themes explored include discussion of ‘industrial misfits’ and ‘neurotic’ workers in published industrial psychological literature during the inter-war period. This thesis will also include analysis of the testimonies of non-specialist Mass-Observers and the contrasting postwar industrial sociological studies on the Affluent Worker produced by sociologists John Goldthorpe, David Lockwood and Ferdynand Zweig. Of central concern in this thesis, are the different ways in which specific groups of industrial ‘experts’ approached the issue of subjectivity; the reasons behind their interest, their preoccupations, methods, and the various obstacles and criticisms they met with in their attempts at observation, control and categorisation of feeling. Contemporary intellectual debates and preoccupations surrounding how to study, understand and interpret emotional well-being of workers within industrial contexts has been presented as a rich and under-researched area in current historiography. This thesis argues that such literature needs to be re-examined in terms of its contribution to historical understandings of the relationship between work, material conditions and mental health in twentieth century Britain.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Working class -- Great Britain -- Psychology, Working class writings, English -- History and criticism, Working class -- Social conditions -- Great Britain, Psychology, Industrial -- Great Britain, Great Britain -- Social conditions -- 20th century|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Department of History|
|Supervisor(s)/Advisor:||Marland, Hilary ; Thomson, Mathew|
|Sponsors:||New Zealand. Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) ; University of Warwick (UoW)|
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