Catalogue

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Labour's apprentices : working-class lads in late Victorian and Edwardian England /
Michael J. Childs.
imprint
Montreal : McGill-Queen's University Press, 1992.
description
xxiii, 223 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0773509151 :
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Montreal : McGill-Queen's University Press, 1992.
isbn
0773509151 :
general note
ARM-7683
catalogue key
324462
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1993-10:
Childs (McGill Univ.) has written a superb piece of social history about working-class youths in Britain between 1890 and 1914--a study narrower but far superior to Lionel Roses's The Erosion of Childhood (CH, Feb'92). Childs uses modern social theory and relies heavily on oral history archives in England, but he never forgets that his sources are his master. He is analytical and covers all aspects of the world of working-class lads--their families, education, labor, street culture, entertainment, and organized youth movements--in a global context. Childs concludes that the young generation of this class with its new norms, attitudes, and ways of approaching problems had a major influence on the type of society that emerged in Britain in the early 20th century. The book is well organized and written, copiously footnoted, and includes a detailed bibliography. It is a model study of its kind. Highly recommended for general readers, advanced undergraduates, graduates, and researchers/faculty. W. J. Hoffman Jr.; Hiram College
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Childs has written a superb piece of social history." W.J. Hoffman, Jr, Choice. "A provocative and well-written book .... Readers will come away from this book convinced of the dynamic contribution made by working-class youths to English history before 1914." John Springhall, Albion.
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, October 1993
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Summaries
Main Description
Childs discusses working-class family life and considers the changes that becoming a wage earner and a contributor to the family economy made to a youth's status within the home. He explores the significance of publicly provided education for the working class and analyses the labour market for young males, focusing on apprenticeship, future job prospects, trade unions, and wage levels. Childs investigates the patterns of labour available to boys at that time, including street selling, half-time labour, and apprenticed versus "free" labour, arguing that these were major factors in the creation of a semi-skilled adult work force. Turning to leisure activities among working-class youths, Childs looks at street culture, commercial entertainments, and youth groups and movements and finds that each influenced the emergence of a more cohesive and class-conscious working class.
Unpaid Annotation
The three decades before the First World War witnessed significant changes in the working life, home life and social life of adolescent English males. In Labour's Apprentices, Michael Childs suggests that the study of such age-specific experiences provides vital clues to the evolving structure and fortunes of the working class as a whole and helps to explain subsequent development in English history. Beginning with home life, Childs discusses the life cycle of the working-class family and considers the changes that becoming a wage-earner and a contributor to the family economy made to a youth's status. He explores the significance of publicly provided education for the working class and analyses the labour market for young males, focusing on the role of apprenticeship, the impact of different types of labour on future job prospects, the activities of trade unions, and wage levels. Childs makes a detailed investigation of the patterns of labour available to boys at that time, including street selling, half-time labour, and apprenticed labour versus "free" labour. He argues that such changes were a major factor in the creation of a semi-skilled adult workforce. Childs then examines the choices that working-class youths made in the area of their greatest freedom: leisure activities. He looks at street culture, commercial entertainments, and youth groups and movements and finds that each influenced the emergence of a more cohesive and class-conscious working class during the period up to the First World War.
Table of Contents
Tables and Figure
Preface
Introduction
Youths and Working-Class Familiesp. 3
Education and Working-Class Youthsp. 28
The Youth Labour Marketp. 51
The Experience of Boy Labourp. 73
Youths on the Streetp. 95
Commercial Entertainment and Working-Class Youthsp. 118
Organized Youth Movementsp. 140
Conclusionp. 157
Appendix A: Oral History Materialp. 163
Appendix B: Oral History Respondentsp. 171
Notesp. 177
Bibliographyp. 207
Indexp. 221
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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