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'Mrs Fairly is a dirty, lazy type': unsatisfactory households and the problem of problem families, Norwich, 1942-1963

Taylor, Becky and Rogaly, B. (2007) 'Mrs Fairly is a dirty, lazy type': unsatisfactory households and the problem of problem families, Norwich, 1942-1963. Twentieth Century British History 18 (4), pp. 429-452. ISSN 0955-2359.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/tcbh/hwm019

Abstract

Either as the ‘underclass’, or ‘residuum’, poor families with anti-social habits have excited comment and criticism, but rarely historical analysis. Using a rich archive of material on ‘unsatisfactory households’ in Norwich from 1942 to 1963, this article argues that it is essential to understand the material conditions in which such families lived: a period of apparent prosperity throughout Britain before the ‘rediscovery of poverty’ in 1965. This article uses the work of Norwich city council to unpick contemporary debates on ‘problem families’ and to explore the kind of family designated as ‘unsatisfactory’, in terms of economic position, family composition and patterns of behaviour. It concludes by examining the relationship between council workers and the listed families, and the agency of these families and their neighbours in mediating the attentions of officials.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Publisher version cannot be used unless payment of Oxford Open fee
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > History, Classics and Archaeology
Depositing User: Dr Becky Taylor
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2012 11:38
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:33
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/4963

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