Culture in Manchester

Institutions and urban change since 1850

Edited by Janet Wolff

With Mike Savage

Culture in Manchester


  • Hardcover
  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-0688-9
  • Pages: 224
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £20.00
  • Published Date: August 2016
  • BIC Category: Cultural Studies, Urban communities, Society & culture: general, HISTORY / Social History, Social & cultural history, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / Urban, Society & social sciences / Society & culture: general, Local History, Geography


This book brings together studies of cultural institutions in Manchester from 1850 to the present day, giving an unprecedented account of the city's cultural evolution. These bring to light the remarkable range of Manchester's contribution to modern cultural life, including the role of art education, popular theatre, religion, pleasure gardens, clubs and societies. The chapters show the resilience and creativity of Manchester's cultural institutions since 1850, challenging any simple narrative of urban decline following the erosion of Lancashire's industrial base, at the same time illustrating the range of activities across the social classes.

This book will appeal to everyone interested in the cultural life of the city of Manchester, including cultural historians, sociologists and urban geographers, as well as general readers with interests in the city. It is written by leading international authorities, including Viv Gardner, Stephen Milner, Mike Savage, Bill Williams and Janet Wolff.


'Culture in Manchester comprises nine essays which provide much evidence for the view that Manchester has not been, and is not culturally in decline. . .Most of the chapters are readable and avoid the impenetrable jargon of many essays in cultural studies.'
Northern History, LI: 2, 1 September 2014


1. Manchester: city of culture - Mike Savage and Janet Wolff
2. Calico connections: science, manufacture and culture in mid-nineteenth-century Manchester - Janet Wolff
3. Counting the coppers: John Jennison and the Belle Vue Zoological Gardens - Michael Powell and Terry Wyke
4. Manufacturing the Renaissance: modern merchant princes and the Manchester Dante Society - Stephen J. Milner
5. The image of a well-ordered city: nineteenth-century Manchester theatre architecture and the urban spectator - Viv Gardner
6. 'He saw the city and wept': the Manchester and Salford Methodist mission 1910-60 - Angela Connolly
7. A case of cosmopolitanism: the Manchester International Club - Bill Williams
8. Culture, participation and identity in contemporary Manchester - Andrew Miles
9. Class conflict and the myth of cultural 'inclusion' in modern Manchester - Selina Todd


Janet Wolff is Professor Emerita of Cultural Sociology at the University of Manchester

Mike Savage is Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics

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