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Title: Shifting relations of class, gender, ethnicity and age on allotments in an area of North East Essex
Author: McAleavy, Carol D.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5992 5454
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis examines the interactions between shifting relations of class, gender ethnicity and age and the culture of allotments based on fieldwork on allotment sites in three towns in North East Essex. Social history sources show the close relationship between political, economic and social factors on the supply of and demand for allotments from their working class origins in the 1830s, to their peak in WW2, and falling to their lowest level in 2013. Yet, over the last 10 years, interest in allotments has risen, largely fuelled by more interest about food quality, environmental issues and ensuing media attention. There are now growing waiting lists for plots and a change in the allotment population. New allotmenteers in the twenty-first century come from a broader spectrum, with a younger age profile, more middle class plot-holders, an increasing number of women, and a more diverse ethnic population in some areas. Through semi- structured interviews with 58 plot-holders, I developed an in-depth understanding of individuals on each site, social changes on allotments and how they affect the culture and social practices there. The social divisions of class, gender, ethnicity and age do not operate in isolation, but as a matrix with allotment holders at intersections of more than one category. The use of intersectionality as an underpinning theory enabled me to show how these four divisions extend across categories and impinge on everyday life on allotments. It is often at the intersections that most significant mediations emerge. However, the intersection that proved to be most influential was that of social class and age which effected the social action and culture of allotments in my study at all stages of the life course.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available