Community, work and religion : mentalities in the villages of the North Wales coalfield, c.1930 - c.1960
Laidlaw, Roger Scott, 1969- (1995) Community, work and religion : mentalities in the villages of the North Wales coalfield, c.1930 - c.1960. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
WRAP_THESIS_Laidlaw_1995.pdf - Submitted Version - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b1359892~S1
This study uses oral evidence in conjunction with other sources to attempt
an empirical reconstruction of local social milieux but also considers the
subjective dimensions of narratives and considers the extent to which respondents draw on a communal store of reminiscences. It considers that
particular genres of narratives and other oral formats may have originated
as social actors discussed contemporary events, may have been shaped by
subsequent discussion, and may have functioned as integrative ideologies
for local groups and communities.
Oral evidence is used to gain access to the informal and undocumented aspects of local life but also investigates the potential of oral evidence
as a means of gaining access to the social and oral culture of the
communities under study. The study posits that if the mores of communities
are socially constructed - are constructed as a by-product of routine
social interaction - that this process should leave a discernable legacy in
the oral culture of these communities.
The study considers two mining villages in what was formerly East
Deabighshire: Rhosllanerchrugog, an open village first settled by squatters
in the late eighteenth century; and Llay, a village which began as a model
housing estate constructed by a paternalist colliery company in the 1920s.
The study considers three areas of local social life: the community, the workplace and local religious organisations. After attempting a general
description of the social milieu to be found in each, the study presents a
series of case studies.
The chapter on the community considers the ways in which the different
origins of the two communities have impacted on their respective social
organisations, The chapter considers social and oral culture, and describes
the decline of the Welsh speaking community as indices of changing patterns
of social organisation. It also considers the ways in which local people
have contributed to the construction of the self images of their respective
The chapter on religious life examines relations between the
Nonconformist churches, which are widely imputed to have had a defining
effect on Welsh society, and the local population. It describes a general
reluctance to embrace the full implications of Nonconformist creeds and
describes instances of resistance to Nonconformist asceticism.
The first chapter on the workplace considers the impact of new
extractive technology which shifted the frontier of control in favour of
the colliery management. It describes attempts to reassert control made by
the workmen and considers the development of a culture of informal pay
bargaining in the conditions presented by cost push inflation and
institutional sclerosis in the early years of the nationalized industry.
The second chapter on the workplace considers workplace narratives and
describes the lore about occupational beliefs as a consolatory folklore
which helped workmen accommodate themselves to a harsh physical environment. The chapter also considers how the circulation of narratives
about the conventions of oral culture were used to describe and articulate
relations within the work group and enabled workmen to resist the demands
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Wales, North -- Social life and customs -- 20th century, Mineral industries -- Wales, North -- History -- 20th century, Rhosllanerchrugog (Wales) -- History -- 20th century, Llay (Wales) -- History -- 20th century|
|Official Date:||June 1995|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Department of Social History|
|Supervisor(s)/Advisor:||Obelkevich, Jim ; Mason, Tony, 1938-|
|Extent:||iv, 449 leaves|
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