By Sarah Pickard
This complete, interdisciplinary assortment examines diversified varieties of anti-social behaviour in Victorian and modern Britain, delivering a different comparability of the tools which were hired through governments to regulate it.
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Extra info for Anti-social Behaviour in Britain: Victorian and Contemporary Perspectives
The ‘street rufﬁans’, ‘rowdies’ or ‘roughs’ were thus in some respects an even more visible feature of England’s urban landscape in 1900 than they had been in 1830. 2 Anti-social City: Science and Crime in late Victorian Britain Trevor Harris Introduction In an age of Anti-social Personality Disorders (ASPDs) and Anti-social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs), when anti-social behaviour is often presented as the consequence of a quintessentially contemporary ‘breakdown of authority’, it is easy to forget that the question is far older than early twentiethcentury promoters of moral declinism would have us believe.
By the 1880s, Charles Booth was investigating similar social phenomena using a much more rigorous methodology. His Life and Labour of the People, publication of which began in 1889, was an intricate, street-by-street survey of the East End of London, from which Booth and his collaborators produced equally intricate, colour-coded poverty maps, quantifying the living conditions in each district. What Mayhew, Mearns and Charles Booth progressively establish, as they each reformulate the ‘social question’, is the link between ongoing urbanization and the existence of large-scale poverty.
He was not about to miss the opportunity, in a Commons adjournment debate, to generate a small frisson of Conservative anxiety on the benches opposite: no one can contemplate the present condition of the masses without desiring something like a revolution for the better. We are anxious to see a revolution for the better, and we are anxious to see it take the form of a peaceable and Constitutional revolution. [ . . ] We fortunately, in this country, have never seen revolutions of the worst type, nor do we wish to; but human nature is human nature all the world over.
Anti-social Behaviour in Britain: Victorian and Contemporary Perspectives by Sarah Pickard