Brad Beaven
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Male leisure and citizenship in the Second World War
in Leisure, citizenship and working-class men in Britain, 1850–1945
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This chapter begins a discussion of how historians have traditionally interpreted the Second World War as a force for change in social relations and cultural values. It explores how the government established a network of intelligence officers and researchers to investigate the working-class leisure activities in a bid to define 'good' citizenship and morale. Although there had been isolated outbreaks of moral panic over the sexual morality of women during the Great War, the Second World War witnessed a more concerted attempt to define the private sphere of women. In the anticipation of a massive aerial attack, many public places in Britain were closed down on the outbreak of war. The impact that war had upon male leisure and notions of citizenship sheds light on the extent to which working people embraced a shared social unity.

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