1956: The End of Community: The Quest for the English Middletown

Mike Savage

in Identities and Social Change in Britain since 1940

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780199587650
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191740626 | DOI:
1956: The End of Community: The Quest for the English Middletown

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This chapter examines how a new breed of social scientists in Great Britain during the 1950s sought to define an ordinary, average, national society. It suggests that outside influences were to be vital in allowing established and assumed national characteristics to be understood in a new, apparently social light, and argues that social anthropology was effective in developing a demoralised social science. The chapter also shows how the relations between sociology and social anthropology fractured in the early 1960s over the issue of change, as sociology seized the banner of the new as a means of justifying its distinctive expertise, thus consigning anthropology a subordinate role.

Keywords: social scientists; Great Britain; national society; social anthropology; change; subordinate role

Chapter.  14443 words. 

Subjects: Comparative and Historical Sociology

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