Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Class and Community in Wales 1850 - 1939
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 10 x 2 hour seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay  2,500/3,000 word essay  50%
Semester Assessment Essay 1  2,500/3,000 word essay  50%
Supplementary Assessment Essay 2  2,500/3,000 word essay  50%
Supplementary Assessment Essay 1  2,500/3,000 word essay  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Identify the primary historical sources used by historians in reconstructing the history of class and community in this period

Locate examples of such evidence and explain the reasons for archival survival

Demonstrate an understanding of the relevant historiography, its evolution and the key problems currently addressed by historians in this field

Discuss with others the interpretative problems and prospects associated with this topic, including definition of class and community

Illustrate, analyse and evaluate the surviving evidence and the associated historiography in an extended written discussion

Brief description

This module explores the distinctive ways in which ideas of class and community came to be closely associated in Welsh society during the century after 1850. Following the demise of Chartism and the petering out of the pronounced class conflict seen in south Wales during the 1830s and 1840s, new ways of conceiving of class and community took shape. These ideas were particularly strongly associated with areas of heavy extractive industry, such as the south Wales coalfield and the slate quarrying areas of north-west Wales. In these regions of the country the idea of community was often mobilised against the interests of employers and was particularly evident during periods of industrial strife. However, there was an equally complex relationship between ideas of community and class relationships in the countryside.
The module also examines strands in the historiography that challenge the accepted views of ‘community’ as a way of mobilising human resources as a defence against hostile or oppressive forces. For example, it asks to what extent the history of women in working-class communities provides a different and less celebratory view of community life. Moreover, it also asks whether ‘community’ could be mobilised against ‘outsiders’, particularly immigrants and those from different ethnic backgrounds. To what extent does this exclusionary aspect to social life challenge and complicate positive perceptions of community and class?


1. Introduction
2. Social consensus, c.1848-1870
3. Crime, social protest and communal justice
4. Space and place: urban society
5. Tensions of class and community in rural society, 1880-1914
6. Class conflict in the south Wales coalfield, 1898-1914
7. Class, ethnic conflict and community in Wales, c.1826-1914
8. Gender, community and the interwar depression, c.1925-39
9. Class and community in the 1930s
10. Conclusions


This module is at CQFW Level 7