From Middling to Middle: Exploring the Middle Classes in Britain and America 1790-1900

Department of History, School of History and Cultures

College of Arts and Law


Code 21042

Level of study Second Year

Credit value 20

Semester 1&2

Module description

This module focuses on the study of the most elusive and slippery class to define. Its aim is to engage students in the definition of social categories, while teaching them to think using a comparative framework. By the end of the module the students will have addressed the following questions: Are social categories culturally constructed by their own members or are they determined by external structures, such as economic institutions? Are class identities defined by production, gender or consumption, or all three (or something else)? Can microhistory coexist with the search for metanarratives? In seminars, students will be expected to engage with a range of historical sources.