Fall 2016 - HIST 407 D100

Popular Culture in Great Britain and Europe (4)

Class Number: 4771

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 1:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    WMC 3255, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units including nine units of lower division history. Recommended: HIST 106.



This course will study culture in Great Britain and Europe since 1500. Themes may include the sixteenth century separation between popular and elite culture, Carnival, the witch craze, popular ballads, the institution of 'rational recreation' during the Industrial Revolution, the late Victorian Music Hall, the cultural emancipation of women, and the effects on working class culture of economic depression and world war.


This course examines the history of popular culture in Great Britain from the early nineteenth century through to the present. In particular, we will examine the experiences of working class British youth, covering the period from Britain’s industrial and imperial apex to its transformation into a primarily service-based economy. This period saw the rise of private and governmental initiatives to channel youth rebellion in a time of crushing poverty, de-industrialization, unemployment, mass immigration, and the failure of the welfare state to provide on its promises. The way in which working-class British youth negotiated rapidly changing economic and political environments resulted in vibrant forms of cultural expression that had a global impact. However, throughout this period the popular press and popular opinion sought to demonize youth, which led to increasingly creative measures by the state to try and control young peoples’ everyday lives.

This course will utilize a variety of texts in order to explore the development of modern British popular culture including academic writings, literature, art, music, and film.


  • Participation 20%
  • Tutorial leadership 10%
  • Book review (1000 words) 25%
  • Research essay proposal (300 words plus bibliography) 10%
  • Research essay (12-15 pages) 35%
  • Grading (subject to change)



Derek Fraser, The Evolution of the British Welfare State (4th ed) (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009).

Choose ONE of the following: 
Graham Greene, Brighton Rock, (1938)
John King, The Football Factory (1997)
H. Kingsley Long and Alexander McArthur, No Mean City (1935)
Irvine Welsh. Skagboys (2012)

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html