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Title: The Conservative Party and the adaptation to modernity 1957-1964.
Author: Jarvis, Mark Cason.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3589 3425
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 1998
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This thesis addresses how the Conservative Party adapted to political and social change in the period 1957 to 1964, focusing particularly on crime, punishment, and important areas of personal conduct and public order. It also takes broadcasting, especially television, as an illuminating case study: the Conservative Party created commercial television as an example of the superiority of the free market, but disliked the criticism that it was lowering standards through vulgarity. For a political party that has put great store on the maintenance of traditional institutions and beliefs, the Tories have continually faced political, economic and social change in order to keep a grasp on the levers of power. Yet contained within this description is a clear dilemma: how far can a party holding firm to traditional institutional structures adapt and evolve if more 'modern' ideas or events appear to be gaining an orthodoxy in society? The research has sought to understand how a party representing tradition could adapt to the force of change. All the policy areas included show how the Party attached itself to key symbols of 'modernity'. Each chapter has brought out key themes about the Conservative Party. Firstly, the importance placed on modernising social legislation, which became synonymous with 'permissive' legislation later in the 1960s. The research has shown that it was the Conservative Party that initiated the Government response to changing social values, and not the succeeding Labour Administration. Secondly, it has assessed how far the Conservative front bench wanted to develop a more libertarian approach to matters in the private sphere. The historiography of the period has stressed economic and social policy to evaluate the modernisation of British politics - this study has widened the scope of the analysis to include matters affecting the personal and corporate behaviour of society. Thirdly, it has shown the problematic status of affluence for the Conservative Party, from both the cultural and moral perspective. Affluence seemed to pose as many problems for the Party as it solved. The result is a non-economic analysis of the Conservative Party and Government's response to a society undergoing profound change.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Political science