British Social Trends since 1900: A Guide to the Changing by A. Halsey

By A. Halsey

This booklet tells the tale of alterations within the social constitution of england from 1900 to the mid Nineteen Eighties. It comprises and is a sequel to traits in British Society for the reason that 1900, a compilation through a distinguishd staff of social scientists on the college of Oxford, and the one entire number of British social facts for the 20th century as a whole.

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In practice, therefore, the problem remains largely that of adapting to social science ends statistics which, from the point of view of the sociologist, are a by-product of administrative and organisational activity. The authors of this book have had to wrestle with this problem in every chapter. One example is Bruce Wood's attempt (in Chapter 9) to use a sociological definition of urbanism in addition to the legal definition in terms of local government boundaries. Thus, in order to bring into focus the increasing interdependence of town and country he has to use such indicators as the journey to work, shops, and centres of entertainment.

Finally, society presupposes communication and hence requires institutions of language and organisations for storing and transmitting information. Each of these elements has to be covered in the following chapters, but according to the special form of social structure which has emerged in modem Britain. It is at this point that our own emphases and interpretations have entered. We have paid little attention to the institutions of language. 17 The British population is almost universally literate in a common language, though in earlier centuries dialects and illiteracy would have to be taken into account, and in any case it is open to debate how far the existence of the Welsh language, of class-linked linguistic structure and usages, and of non-Englishspeaking communities among the ethnic minorities can be disregarded.

Ll20 married respondents, except for the questions on actual allocation of child-rearing tasks which were answered by 479 respondents with children under 16. 2. 283 never-married respondents. The table excludes results of the formerly married (widowed, divorced, or separated) respondents. 2 Household division of labour: by marital status, 1984, Great Britain (percentages) N N 23 Statistics and Social Trends in Britain Girls (%) Boys 50 One extra year: One extra year: , ,~-40 Scotland , - - .........

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