Unit 2: Mass Media - British Society 1945-1954

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After the war, people were bound together by strong moral and self-discipline with simple living.  In 1951, people were worse off than today.  Rationing got worse after the war ended, with staples such as bread also being rationed.  Rationing continued until 1954.  People could not afford luxuries - clothes were mended rather than new ones being bought.  Most houses didn't have a bath so people bathed once a week in an iron tub in front of a coal fire.  In 1951, 10% of homes still did not have electricity and 60% of the workforce was employed in manual labour.

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People began to think if themselves as a nationwide class.  Working class people leant towards the Labour party and the Upper class supported the Tories.

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Sex, Women and Family

Co-habitation without marriage, sex before marriage and homosexuality were taboo subjects.  These issues still existed but they were not practised openly.  Following the end of WWII, there was a baby boom - an increase in the birth rate - due to husbands returning home.  Women were expected to stop working when they got married; traditional opinions of women still stood.

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Royal family was hugely popular.  However, mass observation showed Britons were becoming "de-churched".  Politicians were not trusted!!

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Racial Minorities

Few Britons had direct contact with other ethnic groups.  There were very few black, South Asian and Chinese communities in London.  Attitudes towards other ethnic groups ranged greatly from fear and contempt to curiosity and tolerance.

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Census (1951)

50.3 million people living in Britain.  84% of UK population live in England.  80% of population live in urban areas.

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