Advertisement

Social Science and Social Exploration

  • Stuart Laing
Chapter

Abstract

It has always been a major task of sociology to discover and analyse the condition of the working class. Indeed it has frequently been asserted that the origins of sociology in the nineteenth century lie precisely in the need to find ways of understanding and imposing order on a new urban industrial society stripped of its traditional bearings and attitudes. The history of British empirical sociology up to 1939 is largely a matter of surveys of urban working-class life with particular reference to the problems of poverty and unemployment. There is, however, no necessary reason why sociological texts dealing with the analysis of any social group should be concerned to offer direct evocations or experiential accounts of the everyday life or the physical environment involved. Such kinds of writing are, rather, frequently avoided on the grounds that they tend to preclude analysis, to be subjective or idiosyncratic, to fail to offer data for subsequent comparative analysis and to confuse the work of the social scientists with that of the reporter, documentarist or novelist.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes and References

  1. 1.
    D. V. Glass (ed.), Social Mobility in Britain (London: Routledge, 1954)Google Scholar
  2. J. Floud, A. H. Halsey and F. M. Martin, Social Class and Educational Opportuniy (London: Heinemann, 1957).Google Scholar
  3. 2.
    R. A. Kent, A History of British Empirical Sociology (Aldershot: Gower, 1981) p. 37.Google Scholar
  4. 3.
    R. Frankenberg, Communities in Britain (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1966) p. 9.Google Scholar
  5. 4.
    N. Dennis, F. Henriques and C. Slaughter, Coal is Our Life (London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1956).Google Scholar
  6. Coal is Our Life (second edn, London: Tavistock, 1969) p. 7. (Subsequent page references are to this edition.)Google Scholar
  7. 6.
    J. Klein, Samples from English Cultures (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1965).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 7.
    M. Stacey, Tradition and Change: A Study of Banbury (London: Oxford University Press, 1960).Google Scholar
  9. Dennis, Henriques and Slaughter. Coal is Our Life (second edn) p. 168.Google Scholar
  10. 9.
    C. Critcher, ‘Sociology, cultural studies and the post-war working class’, in J. Clarke, C. Critcher and R. Johnson (eds), Working Class Culture (London: Hutchinson, 1979) p. 17.Google Scholar
  11. 10.
    M. Young and P. Willmott, Family and Kinship in East London (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1957) pp. xvff.Google Scholar
  12. 11.
    J. Platt, Social Research in Bethnal Green (London: Macmillan, 1971) p. 138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Ibid., p. 1. This is part of a policy statement of the Institute printed on the dust jackets of their books.Google Scholar
  14. 13.
    M. Young and P. Willmott, Review of Social Research in Bethnal Green, New Society, 28 October 1971, p. 841.Google Scholar
  15. R. Titmuss, Foreword to Young and Willmott, Family and Kinship in East London, p. xi.Google Scholar
  16. Ibid., p. 22.Google Scholar
  17. Ibid., p. 30.Google Scholar
  18. Young and Willmott, Review of Social Research in Bethnal Green, p. 841.Google Scholar
  19. Young and Willmott, Family and Kinship in East London, p. 47. (Subsequent page references are to this title.)Google Scholar
  20. 19.
    P. Willmott, The Evolution of a Communiy (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1963) p. 111.Google Scholar
  21. 20.
    M. Young and P. Willmott, ‘Research Report No. 3: Institute of Community Studies, Bethnal Green’, Sociological Review, IX (July 1961).Google Scholar
  22. Critcher, ‘Sociology, cultural studies and the post-war working class’, p. 15.Google Scholar
  23. 22.
    B. Jackson and D. Marsden, Education and the Working Class (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1962; revised edn, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1966), revised edn, p. 18.Google Scholar
  24. 23.
    R. Glass, ‘Conflict in Cities’, in A. de Reuck and J. Knight (eds), Conflict in Society (London: Churchill, 1966) p. 148.Google Scholar
  25. 24.
    R. Hoggart, The Uses of Literacy (London: Chatto and Windus, 1957) p. 11.Google Scholar
  26. Ibid., pp. 17, 19.Google Scholar
  27. This is discussed further in Chapter 7.Google Scholar
  28. 27.
    C. Sigal, Weekend in Dinlock (London: Secker and Warburg, 1960; Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1962). (Subsequent page references are to the Penguin edition.)Google Scholar
  29. Weekend in Dinlock: A discussion’, New Left Review, May–June 1960, p. 42.Google Scholar
  30. Sigal, Weekend in Dinlock, p. 81.Google Scholar
  31. Weekend in Dinlock: A discussion’, pp. 42, 43.Google Scholar
  32. 31.
    D. Lessing, In Pursuit of the English (London: MacGibbon and Kee, 1960) p. 95. (Subsequent page references are to this title.)Google Scholar
  33. 32.
    M. Lassell, Wellington Road (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1962; Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1966) Prefatory Note. (Subsequent references are to the Penguin edition.)Google Scholar
  34. 33.
    C. Curran, ‘The new estate in Great Britain’, Spectator, 20 January 1956, p. 74.Google Scholar
  35. 34.
    Lassell, Wellington Road, p. 73. (Subsequent page references are to this title.)Google Scholar
  36. 35.
    New Statesman, 16 February 1962, p. 234.Google Scholar
  37. 36.
    Times Literary Supplement, 17 August 1962, p. 627.Google Scholar
  38. 37.
    New Statesman, 4 June 1960, p. 832.Google Scholar
  39. 38.
    The Listener, 28 January 1960, p. 185; Times Literary Supplement, 22 January 1960, p. 45. The television ‘fictionalised documentary’ form is discussed in Chapter 6.Google Scholar
  40. 39.
    A. Wilson, ‘Rescuing the workers’, Spectator, 29 January 1960, p. 140.Google Scholar
  41. The Listener, 15 March 1962, p. 482.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Stuart Laing 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stuart Laing

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations