Travellers’ lives, 1900–45

Becky Taylor

in A Minority and the State

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print April 2008 | ISBN: 9780719075674
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700853 | DOI:
Travellers’ lives, 1900–45

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This chapter describes how the ruralist image of Travellers has only ever been one part of the story of their lives in modern Britain, discussing how the routes and employment strategies taken by travelling families had their own logic. A key feature of Travellers' economic activities was the family nature of much of their work. Betsy Whyte's observations highlight some of the key features of Traveller attitudes to employment. The chapter then considers how the state, on a broad level, dealt with its travelling communities, and also investigates the impact of the war on Travellers, as well as how they were perceived by settled society during the conflict. Nomadism served to reconfirm Travellers as outsiders, and suggested that they were working against the collectivist ethos that had emerged during the war, and was to be an important part in the formation of the welfare state.

Keywords: Travellers; Britain; routes; employment; Betsy Whyte; nomadism; welfare state; war

Chapter.  11029 words. 

Subjects: Sociology

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