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The social structure of a Hertfordshire parish: a study in rural community

Pons, Valdo Gustave (1955) The social structure of a Hertfordshire parish: a study in rural community. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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The thesis presents the findings of a field study conducted in a small rural parish situated in a farming area that was severely affected by the agricultural depression of the second half of the nineteenth century. Part One is introductory. The development of agriculture in Hertfordshire is sketched, and a brief outline of urban growth in the county is given. Again this background, the present-day social composition of the parish studied is described, Some 50 per cent of the employed population travel to urban areas daily. But in the parish itself, agriculture is by far the principal field of employment, and the population is predominantly of rural stock. Part two gives a review, covering the past century, of trend in demographic structure, in migration, and in the social recruitment of the population. the greater part of this review is based on date drawn from original census schedules and from marriage certificates. Part three is concerned partly with the development of the family situation of the working-class inhabitant, and partly with the social relations obtaining between kinsmen resident in the parish to-day. A type of extended family organisation is found, but social relations between kinsmen nevertheless constitute a vital part of the individual's total life. Part Four presents an analysis of the parish's community system. the method of analysis used is that of studying the nature of all organised and semi-organised leisure-time groups in the parish. The conclusions arrived at are that while there have been certain changes in recent years, basic traditional values remain important determinants of the form and structure of the community.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 1955 Valdo Gustave Pons
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Sets: Departments > Sociology

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