Happiness in Worktown in 1938 and Bolton 2014



The chapter gives a brief background of the foundation of Mass Observation; explaining how Bolton was studied as “Worktown” representing the industrial north of England. It provides details of the 1938 Happiness competition, the letters received, and the subsequent questionnaire. It outlines the background, methodology and processes of the replication of the 1938 Happiness competition by the University of Bolton’s Centre for Worktown Studies in collaboration with The Bolton News in 2014. It provides a summary of the main findings of both 1938 and 2014 surveys and considers the strengths and weaknesses of this method of data collection. An outline of the industrial and social conditions of Bolton in the 1930’s is contrasted with those of the twenty-first century.


Mass Observation 1938 Bolton Happiness Survey 2014 Worktown The Bolton News 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of BoltonBoltonUK

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