33 Pages

People and Housing in Industrial Society

More recently, research has become less technical and quantitative, reflecting geographers' growing awareness of debates in social history, and also the emergence of humanistic geography, emphasising the lived experience of individuals (Ley and Samuels, 1978), and marxist analysis, stressing the need to explore the past roots of current economic crises, inner-city problems and de-industrialisation (Dear and Scott, 1981; Dunford and Perrons, 1983). The conjuncture of these two strands in marxian humanism, or in Giddens' theory of' structuration, focusing on the interface between structure and human agency (Gregory, 1982), has generated some distinctive - but less obviously 'urban' - contributions to social historical geography; for example, examining the role of institutions, whether organisations (School Boards, Poor Law Guardians, Philanthropic Trusts) or the buildings they erected, in reflecting and promoting ideology and shaping behaviour (Cosgrove, 1984; Driver, 1985; King, 1980; 1984), or researching the relationships between culture, class and community and the connections between geographical, historical and sociological interpretations of' those terms (Billinge, 1982; 1984). What, to date, has been lacking, is much empirical investigation of the links between economy and society: how did changes in the labour

process - specialisation, mechanisation, deskilling, the emergence of a labour aristocracy and a non-manual clerical lower middle class. and changes in the sexual division of labour - feed through into changes in urban spatial structure, and in the nature as well as the extent of residential differentiation in cities?