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Homes away from home and happy prisoners: Disabled veterans, space, and masculinity in Britain, 1944-1950

Anderson, Julie (2020) Homes away from home and happy prisoners: Disabled veterans, space, and masculinity in Britain, 1944-1950. Journal of Social History, 53 (3). pp. 698-715. ISSN 0022-4529. (doi:10.1093/jsh/shaa003) (KAR id:78931)


This article examines the changing nature of home for disabled ex-servicemen in the Second World War. It explores the function of institutional and domestic space in the restoration of traditional male roles. Masculinity was embodied in the long-stay institution, as men attempted to overcome their disability and be found suitable to resume a place in a traditional domestic home. Importantly, freedom from institutional living came through traditional relationships with women and the production of children. Owing to war damage, finding housing was particularly challenging for disabled men, but a combination of the influence of the British Legion, donations from the public and their preference to memorialise the war through the building of homes increased the possibility of living in a traditional domestic space. The building and alteration of homes encouraged certain modes of behaviour and expectations of disabled veterans, reinforcing the central, traditional role of men in post-war Britain. This analysis of the home in its many reconfigurations offers insight into disabled ex-servicemen, demonstrating that understandings of the institutional and domestic spaces that constitute home are as important as other traditionally gendered spaces such as the workplace. An analysis of the home is instrumental in understanding of disabled ex-servicemen were played out during and after the Second World War.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1093/jsh/shaa003
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: Julie Anderson
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2019 14:52 UTC
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2022 00:00 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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