An Anti-Urban Education? Work camps and ideals of the land in Interwar Britain



Field J (2012) An Anti-Urban Education? Work camps and ideals of the land in Interwar Britain. Rural History, 23 (2), pp. 213-228.

The article examines the role of work camp movements in developing rural critiques of urban living in interwar Britain. A variety of work camp movements flourished in Europe during the interwar years, often partly as a reaction against urbanisation, and this paper explores the ways in which three such movements developed the work camp as a means of countering the socialising influences of city life. Yet while all of the interwar British work camps were located in the countryside, they varied in the extent to which they tried to promote rural values and orientations among their trainees.We can see the work camp as a liminal pedagogic space, designed to lead trainees to particular educational outcomes, using techniques and methods that focused on bodily change as well as cognitive development.

Work camps; adult education; masculinity; body; liminality; urbanisation; training; Great Britain Politics and government 1945

Rural History: Volume 23, Issue 2

FundersThe Carnegie Trust
Publication date31/10/2012
PublisherCambridge University Press

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Professor John Field

Professor John Field

Emeritus Professor, Education

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