Aspiration, agency, and the production of new selves in a Scottish new town, c.1947–c.2016

Abrams, L. , Hazley, B., Wright, V. and Kearns, A. (2018) Aspiration, agency, and the production of new selves in a Scottish new town, c.1947–c.2016. Twentieth Century British History, 29(4), pp. 576-604. (doi:10.1093/tcbh/hwy006) (PMID:29860425)

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Abstract

Narratives of deindustrialization, urban decline and failing public housing and the negative outcomes associated with these processes dominate accounts of post-war Scotland, bolstering the interpretation of Scottish exceptionalism in a British context. Within these accounts working people appear as victims of powerful and long-term external forces suffering sustained and ongoing deleterious vulnerabilities in terms of employment, health, and housing. This article challenges this picture by focusing on the first Scottish new town which made space for working people’s aspiration and new models of the self manifested in new lifestyles and social relations. Drawing on archival data and oral history interviews, we identify how elective relocation fostered and enabled new forms of identity predicated upon new housing, new social relations, and lifestyle opportunities focused on the family and home and elective social networks no longer determined by traditional class and gender expectations. These findings permit an intervention in the historical debates on post-war housing and social change which go beyond the materialistic experience to deeper and affective dimensions of the new town self.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kearns, Professor Ade and Wright, Dr Valerie and Hazley, Dr Barry and Abrams, Professor Lynn
Authors: Abrams, L., Hazley, B., Wright, V., and Kearns, A.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > History
College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Economic and Social History
College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Journal Name:Twentieth Century British History
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0955-2359
ISSN (Online):1477-4674
Published Online:30 May 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in Twentieth Century British History 2018
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
625811Housing, Everyday Life and Wellbeing over the Long Term in Glasgow c.1950-1975Lynn AbramsLeverhulme Trust (LEVERHUL)RPG-2014-014HU - HISTORY