“Something radically wrong somewhere”: the kindred of the Kibbo Kift, 1920-1932

Cheng, Rachel K. (2016) “Something radically wrong somewhere”: the kindred of the Kibbo Kift, 1920-1932. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Printed Thesis Information: https://eleanor.lib.gla.ac.uk/record=b3248392


This thesis examines the Kindred of the Kibbo Kift, a co-educational outdoors organisation that claimed to be a youth organisation and a cultural movement active from August 1920 to January 1932. Originally part of the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides, the Kibbo Kift offers rich insight into the interwar period in Britain specifically because it carried forward late Victorian and Edwardian ideology in how it envisioned Britain. Members constructed their own historical narrative, which endeavoured to place the organisation at the heart of British life. The organisation’s internal life revolved around the unique mythology members developed, and the movement aspired to regenerate Britain after the First World War physically and spiritually.

This thesis argues Kibbo Kift was a distinctive movement that drew upon its members’ intellectual preoccupations and ideals and inspired its members to create unique cultural artefacts. While the Kibbo Kift was ultimately too politically ambiguous to have lasting political impact on a national scale, examining the organisation offers important insight into intellectual thought and cultural production during the British interwar period. This thesis charts the changes the organisation underwent through its membership and the different trends of intellectual thought brought in by individual members, such as its leader, John Hargrave, brought to the group. It examines the cultural production of the organisation’s unique mythology, which created a distinctive historical narrative. It surveys gender issues within the organisation through the “roof tree”, an experimental family unit, and the group’s increasing anti-feminism. Finally, it considers how Clifford H. Douglas’ economic theory of social credit caused the Kibbo Kift to transform into the Green Shirts Movement for Social Credit and later into the Social Credit Party of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Kindred of the Kibbo Kift, interwar period in Britain, outdoors organisation, intellectual history, cultural history, gender history.
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D901 Europe (General)
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Humanities > History
Supervisor's Name: Brown, Professor Callum and Shepard, Professor Alex
Date of Award: 2016
Depositing User: Ms Rachel K Cheng
Unique ID: glathesis:2016-7693
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2016 14:27
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2019 12:41
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/7693

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