Breadwinners and dependants: working-class young people in England, 1918-1955
Todd, Selina. (2007) Breadwinners and dependants: working-class young people in England, 1918-1955. International Review of Social History, Vol.52 (No.1). pp. 57-87. ISSN 0020-8590Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0020859006002781
The prevailing linage of twentieth-century English "youth" is as a triumphal signifier of affluent leisure consumption. By contrast, this article demonstrates the importance of young working-class people's economic role as wage-earners in the mid-twentieth century. This shaped their treatment by the family and the state and the life histories of the adults they became. Juveniles were crucial breadwinners in interwar working-class households. However, the consequences of high unemployment among adult males helped redefine youth as a period of state protection and leisure in the post-1945 decades. Nevertheless, personal affluence remained limited, and young people's economic responsibilities high, until at least the mid-1950s. The history of twentieth-century youth is best understood as one in which young working-class people's fortunes were closely linked to their family's circumstances and their importance as a supply of cheap labour. Social class thus formed, and was formed by, the experience and memory of being young.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||D History General and Old World|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Arts > History|
|Journal or Publication Title:||International Review of Social History|
|Publisher:||Cambridge University Press|
|Number of Pages:||31|
|Page Range:||pp. 57-87|
|Access rights to Published version:||Restricted or Subscription Access|
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