A history of everyday life in twentieth-century Scotland by Lynn Abrams; Callum G Brown

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By Lynn Abrams; Callum G Brown

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One particular type of script remains central to everyday life – that of morbidity and mortality. John Stewart provides a detailed view of how the life of the Scot was transformed by the arrival in 1948 of the National Health Service. Many diseases, notably those of childhood, were conquered after a fifty-year heroic struggle by doctors and medical services in schools and local authorities; Chapter 1 provides additional data illustrating some of the changes. The NHS completed the victory by 1960, but then new illnesses dominated the medical and political agenda – notably heart disease and cancer.

9 Deaths from major childhood diseases in Scotland, 1900–60. then suppressed entirely between 1950 and 1960. The impact of medical services was clearly becoming more effective; the importance of health advances before the NHS arrived comes across very strongly, continuing in the Second World War when there was a dramatic fall in IMR, followed in the late 1940s and 1950s by the impact of the National Health Service, from when the causes of infant death became increasingly narrowed to non-disease causes.

B. Ortner (eds), Culture/Power/History: A Reader in Contemporary Social Theory (Princeton, 1994), pp. 335–6, 358, 360, 365. 10. html 11. Highmore, Everyday Life, p. 148. 12. H. Lefebvre, Critique of Everyday Life, vol. 1 (London, 2002) p. 202. 13. Quoted in A. Merryfield, ‘Guest editorial’, in Environment and Planning: Society and Space vol. 20 (2002), p. 130. 14. E. Le Roy Ladurie, Carnival in Romans: A People’s Uprising at Romans 1579–1580 (London, 1980); C. Humphries, The Politics of Carnival: Festive Misrule in Medieval England (Manchester, 2001).

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