HIST 333 Postwar Britain: Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Change, 1945-1990

Last offered Spring 2014

Cross Listed as WGSS332
A major theme in British historiography is the enormous social change that has taken place in Britain since the end of the Second World War. In the 1950s, sociologists argued about the extent to which postwar affluence was leading to the "embourgeoisement" of the working class; in the 1960s, the advent of the so-called "Permissive Society" witnessed the flourishing of a new culture of sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll; in the 1970s, the feminist and gay movements challenged gender roles that earlier had seemed so secure; in the 1980s, Thatcherism sought to halt the nation's apparent terminal decline, repudiating much of the progressive legislation of earlier decades; finally, throughout this period successive ways of immigration challenged the cultural homogeneity of white Britain. This course will explore these themes, addressing the question of what it meant to be "postwar" in Britain, charting the gradual emergence of a new politics of class, gender, race, and sexuality in Britain that the made the nation in 1990, at the end of the postwar period, a radically different place from what it had been in 1945. In attempting to make sense of these complex changes, we will consider a variety of documents and works by recent historians, along with a dozen films, which students will be required to view outside of class.
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: class discussion, two 8-10 page interpretive essays, and a self-scheduled final examination
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Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: preference given to junior and senior History and WGSS majors
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Divisional Attributes: Division II
Other Attributes: HIST Group C Electives - Europe and Russia
Enrollment Limit: 25
Expected Enrollment: 15-20
Class Number: 4016
CLASSES ATTR INSTRUCTORS TIMES CLASS NUMBER ENRL CONSENT
HIST 333 SEM Postwar Britian: 1945-1990 Division 2: Social Studies Chris Waters
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