Key Research Themes: Social Change

Punch wryly documented changing relations between the social classes, postwar immigration, family life, and shifts in fashion, leisure, and entertainment.

1851 – The Great Exhibition of 1851
The Pound and the Shilling. “Whoever Thought of Meeting You Here!”

1922 – Class differences
The Maid Who Was But Human.

1926 – The servant problem
Mistress. "Tell me, Grey - you've been in service a long while - what is the cause of this difficult servant problem?"

Grey. "Well, madam, since you ask me, it's like this: you're going down, and we're coming up."

1927 – Changing fashions
"Will ye tak' the paper?" "Thanks. I don't care for reading in the train." "Maybe. But will yer kindly cover yer knees wi' it? A've nae wish to contemplate them."

1944 – The postwar world
"This week's subject for discussion is 'The World I Want After the War.' Would someone please prod Gunner Tomkins sharply in the ribs and ask him what sort of world he wants after the war."

1967 – Post WW2 Immigration to Britain
"I shouldn’t paddle. They might not let you back."

1981 – Families
"Well, if Teddy refuses to pay alimony to Sindy, you must get a court order."

1983 – Changing regional identities
"What's happening to us, Harry? We never say 'ee by gum' any more."