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Title: Self, society and the Second World War : the negotiation of self on the Home Front by diarist and Keighley schoolmaster, Kenneth Preston, 1941-1945
Author: Krutko, Lauren K.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6495 628X
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2016
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This study examines the interaction of the Second World War with the selfhood of Kenneth Preston, a Keighley schoolmaster, using primarily the exceptionally rich content of Preston’s Diary, maintained 1941-1945. In tracing Preston’s home front experience, attention is given to the ways in which the war interacted with the individual’s own self and social conceptions, as well as ways in which subjective experiences and perceptions translated into objective realities, such as in Preston’s participation in the war effort. Illuminating the personal dimensions of the war experience enabled a broad range of meanings and “webs of significance” to emerge, allowing for examination of the interplay between the conflict and understandings of class, community, gender, citizenship, social mores, and aspects of social change during the conflict. Preston’s understandings of himself and of society are intriguing contributions to the discussion surrounding active wartime citizenship, and further historical awareness of the meanings and understandings held within the British population during the era of the Second World War. In particular, the prestige the war offered to modernistic notions of science and technical intelligence is shown to have held a central place in the war experience of this particular individual and in his perception of the rise of the welfare state. With its focus on selfhood, the study is distinguished from arguments grounded in analysis of cultural products from the era; it also contributes to understandings of the causes and implications of social change, as well as the war’s personal impact on the male civilian.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Self ; Community ; Second World War ; Citizenship ; Masculinity ; Twentieth century modernity ; Civilian defence ; Voluntarism ; Religion ; Keighley (West Yorkshire)