Lives beyond suspicion: Gender and the Construction of Respectability in Mid Twentieth Century Rural North Wales

Date

2011-10-01

Advisors

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

ISSN

1467-9523

Volume Title

Publisher

Wiley Blackwell

Type

Article

Peer reviewed

Yes

Abstract

This paper explores and extends the field of historical rural sociology using the idea of respectability via a biographical study of twenty older adults from north Wales (UK) for whom the performance of respectability represented a form of social, symbolic or cultural capital. It entailed the active negotiation and management of barriers between differing constituencies of opinion, generations and family members. Key to this situated respectability in practice was the notion that harsher systems of exclusion for transgressors were located elsewhere, rather than in the present or immediate community. The sense of the past evoked by participants highlights an historical, diachronic dimension to respectability. A particularised, carefully constructed image of the past was present in participants’ evocations of respectability, providing a way of talking about identity and historical progression, as well as a means of managing potentially contentious events to preserve the dignity of the people concerned.

Description

A contribution to the historical sociology of Wales

Keywords

Wales, historical sociology, Bourdieu, social capital, respectability

Citation

Brown, B., Baker, S. and Day, G.A.S. (2011) Lives beyond suspicion: Gender and the construction of respectability in mid 20th century rural North Wales. Sociologia Ruralis, 51 (4) pp. 370-386

Rights

Research Institute

Institute of Health, Health Policy and Social Care
Mary Seacole Research Centre