Male leisure in the industrial suburb, 1918–39
The rise of ‘suburban neurosis’?
in Leisure, citizenship and working-class men in Britain, 1850–1945
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This chapter examines how male leisure developed into the new housing estates during a period in which the civic elite retreated from taking an active role in shaping 'civilising' recreation. Indeed, the new estate's isolation from traditional working-class leisure institutions had led a number of historians to insist that males began to suffer from a 'suburban neurosis'. The Peace Day events led to mass disturbances in these three areas (Coventry, Wolverhampton and Luton), which appeared to reflect a growing disillusionment with Victorian schemes of social citizenship. The volatile situation in Coventry was monitored nationally, since the government was increasingly concerned about the prospect of Soviet-style political agitation after the 1917 strike. Structural changes in the British economy and urban environment convinced contemporary researchers that, by the end of the interwar period, there had been significant shifts in patterns of work and leisure.


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