Scottish settlement houses from 1886 – 1934

Bruce, Lynn (2012) Scottish settlement houses from 1886 – 1934. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis examines the history of Scottish settlement houses from 1886 until 1934. The Scottish settlements have attracted little attention from academics and no overarching study of these organisations has previously been done. This thesis seeks to address this lacuna and situate their achievements within the wider context of the changing role of voluntary organisations in this period. Using archival resources, it argues that settlements made important contributions to Scottish society through social work, training courses and adult education. They pioneered new methods, explored new areas of work and provided their local communities with access to services that they may not otherwise have received. This thesis demonstrates the way in which voluntary bodies evolved in response to local and national pressures and changing social attitudes in order to remain successful and relevant in a period during which their role was changing. There were six settlements in Scotland, each with their own agenda and areas of interest. The settlements remained distinct and independent organisations and there was a limited amount of cooperation between them. This diversity in both location and aims of the settlements gives rise to a range of themes that will be examined in the thesis. The original settlement ideal focused on ameliorating class differences by reforming the characters of working-class individuals through personal connection between them and middle-class settlers. The thesis will examine how this evolved over time. As the state at both a local and national level assumed more responsibility for social services, the role of settlements adapted to encompass training for professional social workers and as the working classes gained more political power the settlements sought to make them ‘fit for citizenship’. Likewise, as the original settlement ideal had denied the legitimacy of working-class culture and community, this attitude also evolved and settlements began to focus on developing strong communities within working-class areas.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Economics
Supervisor's Name: Freeman, Dr. Mark
Date of Award: 2012
Depositing User: Ms Lynn Bruce
Unique ID: glathesis:2012-3723
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2012
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2019 09:02

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