Introduction
in Leisure, citizenship and working-class men in Britain, 1850–1945
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This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book analyses the development of male leisure against the changing notions of citizenship which underpinned the perceptions of society during the late nineteenth century. It focuses broadly on the period 1850-1918, which witnessed wholesale changes to urban life, a burgeoning mass society and the growth of an Empire, which, though vast and rapidly expanding, had worrying tensions and weaknesses. The book explores how the schemes of rational recreation attempted to create the model citizen and the impact of these strategies on male working-class leisure. It also analyses specifically how working-class male leisure activities often shifted from the hearts of cities to the self-contained new housing estates that mushroomed in Britain, particularly in the Midlands and Southeast.

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