University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Economic and Social History

Undergraduate Course: Society in an Age of 'Mass' Leisure C.1880-1939 (ECSH10005)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course examines the uses and organisation of free time in the early twentieth century, the first point in British history when a majority of the population would enjoy regular access to organised leisure activities. The nature of these pursuits is examined to cast light on wider social and economic developments across the period.
Course description The image of the 'mass' and the ideas associated with it provide a central theme of this part of the course. At one level, the language of the 'mass' reflects a reality of popular leisure in this period: its often collective nature. People attended sports events, music halls, cinemas and went on holiday in large and ever increasing numbers. Leisure experiences were increasingly shared, and the question must be asked how far this contributed to a growing sense of collective identity in this period. However, the image of the 'mass', as it recurs through the writing of the period, also reflects contemporary concern that increased access to leisure would threaten established cultural standards. As working-class living standards improved, money and time were devoted to amusements which did not match the priorities of moral reformers: drink remained central to working-class culture; instead of classical concerts, more people went to the Music Hall; instead of participating in team sports, most preferred to pay to watch others play. For moral reformers, it appeared that improving, rational amusements were in danger of being swamped by commercial forces. The creation of a mass market for leisure would, it was thought, inevitably lead to a fall in standards, as minority tastes lost out before the economic power wielded by the majority. Such fears were shared on both the left and right of the political spectrum. The course therefore uses the use and organisation of leisure time to examine important themes of social and economic change in the early twentieth century.
Weekly Topics List:
1: Introduction.
2: Leisure in a Changing Economy.
3: Leisure and Working-class Identity.
4: Leisure and Gender: the female perspective.
5: Leisure and Youth.
6: Essay Preparation- formative feedback on essay plans.
7: Organised Sport.
8: Cinema.
9: Gambling.
10: Leisure and National Identity.
11: Guidance on Gobbet.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Leisure and Society in Britain C.1780-1939 (ECSH10003)
Other requirements A pass or passes in 40 credits of first level historical courses or equivalent and a pass or passes in 40 credits of second level historical courses or equivalent.
Before enrolling students on this course, PTs are asked to contact the History Honours Admission Secretary to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 50 3780).
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 History courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  42
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 172 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 75 %, Coursework 0 %, Practical Exam 25 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One essay of 3,000 words (20%); one gobbet (document analysis) of 500 words (5%).
One exam of two hours: two questions to be attempted, one question relating to gobbets (three to be analysed), and one essay question.
Feedback Students will receive written feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser during their published office hours or by appointment.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, command of the body of knowledge considered in the course
  2. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material
  4. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence
  5. demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers
Reading List
1. R. McKibbin, Classes and Cultures. England, 1918-1951 (Oxford, 1998).

2. G. Bakker, Entertainment Industrialised: The Emergence of the International Film Industry, 1890-1940 (Cambridge, 2008).

3. R.I. McKibbin, 'The "Social Psychology" of Unemployment in Inter-War Britain',
in R.I. McKibbin, The Ideologies of Class. Social Relations in Britain, 1880-1950 (Oxford, 1990), pp.228-58.

4. A. Davies and S. Fielding, eds., Workers' worlds. Culture and communities in Manchester and Salford, 1880-1939 (Manchester, 1992).

5. S. Todd, Young Women, Work and Family in England, 1918-50 (Oxford, 2005).

6. M. Tebbutt, Being Boys: Youth, Leisure and Identity in the Inter-War Years (Manchester, 2012).

7. W. Vamplew, Pay up and play the game. Professional Sport in Britain, 1875-1914 (Cambridge, 1988).

8. T. Griffiths, The Cinema and Cinema-going in Scotland, 1896-1950 (Edinburgh, 2012).

9. M. Clapson, A bit of a flutter. Popular gambling and English society, c.1823-1961 (Manchester, 1992).

10. T. Hajkowski, The BBC and National Identity in Britain, 1922-53 (Manchester, 2010).

11. R. James, Popular Culture and Working-class Taste in Britain, 1930-39: A Round of Cheap Diversions (Manchester, 2010).

12. J. Hargreaves, Sporting Females. Critical issues in the history and sociology of women's sports (1994),

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsMass Leisure
Course organiserDr Trevor Griffiths
Tel: (0131 6)50 6897
Course secretaryMiss Annabel Stobie
Tel: (0131 6)50 3783
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information