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The agricultural labourer and the "Hodge" stereotype, c.1850-1914

By M. Freeman


This article examines the stereotyping of the agricultural labourer as 'Hodge' in the nineteenth century,\ud showing how the changing economic, social and political position of the labourers affected the ways in\ud which they were represented in the social investigations and rural literature of the period. It is argued\ud that the stereotype changed significantly in the 188os and 189os, and although it had largely fallen out of\ud use by the 19oos, many of the attributes that made it up did in fact persist into the later period. The\ud label Hodge was rarely used without being subject to contestation from labourers themselves and their\ud spokesmen, and this article shows how it became a potent weapon in the social and political conflicts\ud that characterized rural England in this period

Topics: HN
Year: 2001
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Provided by: Enlighten
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