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A Social History of Glasgow Council Housing, 1919-1956

Seán Damer

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A comprehensive social history of six Glasgow housing schemes in the first half of the twentieth century

When the Corporation of Glasgow undertook a massive programme of council house construction to replace the city’s notorious slums after the First World War, they wound up reproducing a Victorian class structure. How did this occur? Scheming traces the issue to class-based paternalism that caused the reification of the local class structure in the bricks and mortar of the new council housing estates.

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Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Mosspark: Homes For for Heroes?
Chapter 3: Hamiltonhill: Pioneering Slum-Clearance Scheme
Chapter 4: West Drumoyne: Blue-Collarland
Chapter 5: Blackhill: Out of the Slums
Chapter 6: Craigbank: Amateur Dramatics?
Chapter 7: South Pollok: “The Bundy”
Chapter 8: Alarums and Excursions
Appendix 1: Balloting for a Council House
Appendix 2: Methodological Notes

About the Author

Seán Damer is Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. He has taught sociology in the Universities of Strathclyde, Trinity College, Dublin, Manchester, the West of Scotland and Glasgow. Since early retirement, he has turned to creative writing, published a novel, and is working on several films and television drama series.


Sean Damer’s exploration of 20th century council housing policy and practice is essential reading for all who seek to understand current social tensions in British cities. Meticulously researched and richly illustrated through the lived experience and testimony of Glasgow tenants, Damer provides a penetrating and convincing analysis of polarisation in contemporary British society.

- Richard Rodger, University of Edinburgh

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