‘Mrs Fairly is a Dirty, Lazy Type’: Unsatisfactory Households and the Problem of Problem Families in Norwich 1942–19631

Taylor, Becky and Rogaly, Ben (2007) ‘Mrs Fairly is a Dirty, Lazy Type’: Unsatisfactory Households and the Problem of Problem Families in Norwich 1942–19631. Twentieth Century British History, 18 (4). pp. 429-452. ISSN 0955-2359

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Abstract

Either as the ‘underclass’, or ‘residuum’, poor families with anti-social habits have excited comment and criticism, but rarely historical analysis. Using a rich archive of material on ‘unsatisfactory households’ in Norwich from 1942 to 1963, this article argues that it is essential to understand the material conditions in which such families lived: a period of apparent prosperity throughout Britain before the ‘rediscovery of poverty’ in 1965. This article uses the work of Norwich city council to unpick contemporary debates on ‘problem families’ and to explore the kind of family designated as ‘unsatisfactory’, in terms of economic position, family composition and patterns of behaviour. It concludes by examining the relationship between council workers and the listed families, and the agency of these families and their neighbours in mediating the attentions of officials.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Geography
Depositing User: Rebecca Taylor
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:13
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2012 14:49
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/11187
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