Gender, class and the household economy in Scotland in the ‘Age of affluence’

Cross, Hayley (2016) Gender, class and the household economy in Scotland in the ‘Age of affluence’. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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From early 1950s to the early 1970s Britain is said to have experienced an ‘age of affluence’. Whilst material conditions for many households improved in these decades, this detailed examination of budget management processes shows that for many working-class households, these gains were the product of hard work and careful money management. Using oral history methodology, this thesis explores lived experiences of the household economy to illuminate these qualifications to ‘affluence’. In so doing, this thesis advances analysis which considers the relationship between the macro-level economic conditions of affluence and the everyday economic realities of households in the post-war period. The thesis examines the operation of the household economy and shows how working-class households utilised domestic labour, budgeting, paid work, credit and thrift to make ends meet, as well as to achieve ‘affluence’. Further, by exploring these areas of the household economy, this thesis shows that gendered ideology continued to preserve power and material inequalities between men and women. Although considerable change did occur, particularly involvement in the paid labour market, domestic responsibilities continued to be an important focus of women’s identities and the effective performance of these duties by women remained central to the success of the household. This thesis represents a fresh focus on how the exploration of everyday life, including the salience of ideological continuities in shaping experience, can qualify and refine our understanding of twentieth century economic and social change, and contributes to socio-historical understandings of ‘affluence’ and its intersections with the household, gender, and class.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Scotland, gender, oral history, working-class life, affluence, household economy, credit and debt, budgeting, marriage, money.
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Phillips, Dr. James and Hughes, Dr. Annmarie
Date of Award: 2016
Depositing User: Ms Hayley Cross
Unique ID: glathesis:2016-7747
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2016 14:09
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2017 13:25

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