Mark Freeman: social and educational history of modern Britain

Papers presented



Current work in
history of

Other research

Other interests/links

My UCL Institute of Education webpage

Miscellaneous research interests

For a full list of my publications, click here.

With Eleanor Gordon and Krista Maglen, I edited Medicine, Law and Public Policy in Scotland c. 1850-1990: Essays Presented to Anne Crowther, which was published by Dundee University Press in 2011. This Festschrift recognises the contribution of Professor Anne Crowther to historical scholarship on Scotland and beyond. It features contributions by Marguerite Dupree, Gayle Davis and Rosemary Elliot, Roger Davidson, Jacqueline Jenkinson, John Stewart, Kenneth Collins, David Sutton, Angus H. Ferguson, Anne Cameron and Ian Levitt, and has a foreword by Rick Trainor. The book can be ordered here.

Anne Crowther was the supervisor of my doctoral thesis, 'Social Investigation in Rural England 1870-1914', on which my first book was based. The thesis can be downloaded freely by clicking here (note: this is a large file, 27462KB).

Social exploration in modern Britain

I have a number of other research interests, in particular the history of social investigation, on which I have published articles in Historical Research and History Workshop Journal. The first of these articles argues - contrary to historians who have emphasised the 'national' dimension of poverty research in the Edwardian period - that local concerns were at the forefront of the social survey movement, and that localism and civic pride was a defining feature of many surveys that were published in these years. My article 'Journeys into Poverty Kingdom' in History Workshop Journal examines the large group of social explorers who disguised themselves as tramps - or as members of other social groups - and engaged in what modern ethnographers would call 'complete participation'. I argued that these social explorers should be seen as forerunners of the modern ethnographic tradition, and that many themes familiar to modern sociologists and anthropologists can be traced in their work. Contemporaries did not necessarily reject as 'unscientific' the undercover journalistic explorations of men like 'Denis Crane' (pictured left), and saw them as as having a genuine kinship with the more quantitative and methodologically rigorous studies of Charles Booth and Seebohm Rowntree.

With Gillian Nelson, also at the University of Glasgow, I have edited a collection of primary sources entitled Vicarious Vagrants: Incognito Social Explorers and the Homesless in England 1850-1910. This is published by the True Bill Press. Ten rare undercover accounts of vagrancy are included in the collection, such as J. H. Stallard, The Female Casual and Her Lodging (1866) and Everard Wyrall, The Spike (1909). There is an editors' introduction and a full index.

History of the whisky distilling industry

I have published an article on 'Employment in the Islay Distilleries 1841-1914' in the journal Scottish Labour History (vol. 35, 2000).

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