25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
A Classic Study of Working Class Community Life,
By A Customer
This review is from: Family and Kinship in East London (Paperback)
Young and Willmotts book is based on a three study of the Bethnal Green area of London - a traditional industrial working class community. Whilst they combine classic social science methodologies employing structured surveys, interviews and observation, the book reads not as as a study but a narrative.
Drawing their evidence from all areas together ina seamless manner the paint a picture of ife in Bethnal Green where the extended family and wider community are very much part of the individuals life. The role of the mother is especially central representing the key binding force in family life .
The picture is of a happy community, where material wealth is yet to overturn community spirit as the key value.
A section analyses life in a recently created out-of-town estate where many from Bethnal Green have moved to - the authors suggest that the move shows how easy it is to break up a successful organic community and despite the better material quality of life that teh estate represented the overall quality of life was severly diminished.
This book is academic in its basis but is written for the general reader. Anyone interested in social history, community life or Britain would love the book. For the academic there is a lengthy appendix which provides all the details of methodology leaving the book open to necessary academic critique. The average reader can and will ignore this.
Some have criticised the book as romanticising working class life, and it is perhaps the case but definitely the title paints a picture that is hard to ignore.