A History of Everyday Life in Twentieth-Century Scotland

A History of Everyday Life in Twentieth-Century Scotland

A History of Everyday Life in Twentieth-Century Scotland

A History of Everyday Life in Twentieth-Century Scotland

Synopsis

Scottish culture in the twentieth century changed more rapidly and dramatically than previous centuries. The patterns of people's lives today would be unrecognizable to their nineteenth-century ancestors, and by examining the bodies, homes, working lives, rituals, beliefs, and consumer practices of Scots over this turbulent century, this volume reveals the composition of the very substance of everyday Scottish life. Employing novel persepctives and methods, it traces both intimate and mass changes in work, art, and the experience of death. The book accounts for Scots' conception of themselves and their homes and the process through which the oppressive community rules of "old Scotland" broke down as the country reinvented itself and its culture. This volume brings together leading cultural historians of twentieth-century Scotland to study the key spaces in which daily experience is made and to expose the controversial personal and national politics that ritual and practice can generate.

Excerpt

Christopher A. Whatley and Elizabeth Foyster

The four books in this series examine the ordinary, routine, daily behaviour, experiences and beliefs of Scottish people from medieval times until the present day. Their focus is on the ‘common people’, that is, most of the population, the ordinary folk below the ranks of the aristocracy, substantial landowners, opulent merchants, major industrialists, bankers and financiers, even if it is true that people from relatively humble beginnings have managed periodically to haul themselves into the ranks of the nation’s social elite. Contributors in each volume describe the landscapes and living spaces that formed the familiar contexts for daily life. The events and activities that determined how individuals spent their time are explored, including the experiences of work and leisure, and ranging in duration from those that affected the passage of a single day, through to those that impinged on peoples’ lives according to the calendar or the seasons and weather, to those that were commonly experienced over the course of the life-cycle. Scottish people made sense of their everyday lives, it is argued, through ritual and belief, by their interactions with others and by self-reflection.

As a whole, the series aims to provide a richer and more closely observed history of the social, economic and cultural lives of ordinary Scots than has been published previously. This is not to suggest that accounts and analyses of the everyday in Scotland have not been written. They have. And this present series of four volumes overlaps with the publication of the fourteen volumes of the Scottish Life and Society series, sponsored by the European Ethnological Research Centre in Edinburgh, led by Alexander Fenton. The first volume in this series was published in 2000, with others following at intervals through to 2008. Unlike the series of which this volume is part, which is structured by chronological periods in which selected broad themes are studied, each of the books in the Scottish Life and Society series has been organised around a particular topic, including: farming and rural life; domestic life; boats, fishing and the sea; and religion. They are substantial, multi-authored volumes and eclectic in the range of subjects and sub-topics covered, entirely befitting the series sub-title, A Compendium of Scottish Ethnology. It represents a monumental resource for future researchers. Where appropriate, contributors to this series A History of Everyday Life in Scotland have drawn upon the Scottish Life and Society team’s findings. Rather . . .

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