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Classes and CulturesEngland 1918-1951$
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Ross McKibbin

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206729

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206729.001.0001

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The Middle Class (II)

The Middle Class (II)

(p.70) III The Middle Class (II)
Classes and Cultures

Ross McKibbin

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the themes prevalent in the middle class. It considers patterns of middle-class expenditure, the development of private housing and its social effects, middle-class associations and social networks, the differences between the ‘traditional’ and ‘nontraditional’ middle class, patterns of marriage and domesticity, and the growth of an ‘apolitical’ sociability which allowed the various middle classes to regroup in self-defence and to act as a single class. The discussion notes that the middle class had become a national class, and that beliefs and predictions about middle-class fertility, and the negative effects of owner-occupation were greatly exaggerated. However, there was little spontaneity in middle-class social life. Things necessarily had to be organized. This inevitably put much of the weight of sociability on the shoulders of the wife.

Keywords:   private housing, expenditure, traditional middle class, sociability, fertility, national class

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