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Title: Nineteenth century co-operative retailing in England and Wales : a geographical approach
Author: Purvis, Martin
ISNI:       0000 0001 3503 0814
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1988
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The thesis reconstructs and analyses the changing geographical strength of co-operative retailing in England and Wales c.l820-1901. It charts the spatial and temporal distribution of all recorded society foundations during this period. From 1862 onwards the changing pattern of cooperative membership is presented. The distribution of society foundations by settlement size is investigated. The analysis of the pattern of co-operative growth - including the setbacks suffered as some societies failed to establish themselves permanently - draws ideas from and extends upon the existing literature on the geographical diffusion of innovations. The importance of the circulation of information - distinguishing basic awareness of the idea of co-operation and the practical knowledge necessary for its execution - is studied. This suggests the importance of printed sources in rapidly and widely extending awareness but their limitations in providing the knowledge necessary for practical operations. Factors deriving from the relative location of adopting centres and their access to information must be supplemented by consideration of the specific character of these places. In particular the significance of local conditions of retail trade is asserted together with the importance of wider social and economic circumstances as an influence on the potential for the development of collective working class initiative. Variations in the conditions of work and residence are examined as forces underlying the development attitudes amongst workers, the internal cohesion of the working class and its relationship with the middle and upper class establishment; all of which had a bearing on the extent to which co-operation was seen as a desirable and practical exercise within individual settlements.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Cooperative societies ; History ; Great Britain