in Leisure, citizenship and working-class men in Britain, 1850–1945
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Contemporary discussion on the future of citizenship and male leisure between 1850 and 1945 was a fluid discourse that filtered through wider anxieties that gripped the society. While popular leisure patterns were often seen as an obstacle to 'good' citizenship, appropriate 'rational' leisure was perceived as the antidote to urban degeneracy. The fundamentals of class, gender and generation all had significant roles in shaping working people's experience of life, labour and leisure. The era of mass commercial leisure compounded gender inequalities and set the tone for the twentieth century. The social citizenship schemes of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries consistently failed to enthuse a sceptical working class, who regarded their leisure time as beyond the bounds of legitimate interference. By the interwar period, citizenship schemes talked less about civilising the degenerate and more about the civic and ballot-box responsibilities of the working man during a period of increasing political tension.


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