Camps as social service and social movement
in Working men’s bodies
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A wide variety of voluntary work camp systems developed in the interwar years. This chapter distinguished between those which provided a social service, including the main work camp systems organised by university students, and the pacifist International Voluntary Service camps; and camps organised in order to promote social change, including nationalist and environmentalist camps that both prepared people for a future world and exemplified aspects of life in the new world. Once more, there was a clear gender division, with work camps aimed almost exclusively at men. Unemployed women were recruited into what were effectively holiday camps, to recuperate; and women in the IVS camps acted as domestic workers, while the men performed symbolically heavy manual labour.

Working men’s bodies

Work camps in Britain, 1880–1940


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