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9780198779537

Me, Me, Me Individualism and the Search for Community in Post-war England

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780198779537

  • ISBN10:

    0198779534

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2019-09-01
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Summary

Many commentators tell us that, in today's world, everyday life has become selfish and atomised--that individuals live only to consume. But are they wrong?

In Me, Me, Me, Jon Lawrence re-tells the story of England since the Second World War through the eyes of ordinary people--including his own parents-- to argue that, in fact, friendship, family, and place all remain central to our daily lives, and whilst community has changed, it is far from dead.

He shows how, in the years after the Second World War, people came increasingly to question custom and tradition as the pressure to conform to societal standards became intolerable. And as soon as they could, millions escaped the closed, face-to-face communities of Victorian Britain, where everyone knew your business. But this was not a rejection of community per se, but an attempt to find another, new way of living which was better suited to the modern world.

Community has become personal and voluntary, based on genuine affection rather than proximity or need. We have never been better connected or able to sustain the relationships that matter to us. Me, Me, Me makes that case that it's time we valued and nurtured these new groups, rather than lamenting the loss of more 'real' forms of community--it is all too easy to hold on to a nostalgic view of the past.

Author Biography


Jon Lawrence, Associate Professor of History, University of Exeter

Professor Jon Lawrence works on modern British social, cultural, and political history, and is now based at the University of Exeter. He has previously taught at University College, London, the University of Liverpool, Harvard University, and the University of Cambridge. Jon has published extensively on British social and political history including Speaking for the People: Party, Language and Popular Politics in England, 1867-1914 (1998) and Electing Our Masters: The Hustings in British Politics from Hogarth to Blair (2009). He has written for the London Review of Books, History Today, Renewal and BBC History Magazine, and has contributed to television history programmes on BBC2, Channel 4 and the Parliament Channel.

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