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The Rising Generations: A Northern Perspective on Age Relations and the Contours of Cultural Change, England c.1740-1785

CROSBIE, BARBARA (2011) The Rising Generations: A Northern Perspective on Age Relations and the Contours of Cultural Change, England c.1740-1785. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Mapping the generational contours of cultural change in eighteenth-century England sheds new light on a period that straddles the divide between the early modern and modern historical eras. This reveals an ongoing social process, rather than searching for an emphatic transformation or determining a specific turning point. Using age relations as a tool of historical research lends the investigation a chronological structure without imposing predetermined boundaries or a hierarchy of causation. At the same time, viewing England from the banks of the Tyne provides a vista that is national in scope without either assuming a metropolitan perspective that can too easily relegate the regions to the peripheries of society, or presenting a fragmented mosaic of discrete provincial experiences.

The investigation is centred upon a generational fault line discernable in the propaganda produced during the general election campaign that unfolded in Newcastle upon Tyne over the summer months of 1774. The research is not, however, confined to the political arena. Each chapter forms a distinct line of enquiry tracing the social context in which age became politicised, encompassing the nurseries and schoolrooms in which formative years were spent, the volatile terrain of youth transition, and shifting fashions in the adult world. This allows the ripples of generational change to be considered from the perspective of different age cohorts, and exposes a rich and dynamic social fabric. While age relations were only one of the factors shaping cultural change, they permeated every aspect of society and so provide a useful vantage point from which to survey a wide range of topics that will be more familiar to those who study the eighteenth-century.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > History, Department of
Thesis Date:2011
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:10 Jun 2011 09:12

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