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Contemporary Wales
Contemporary Wales

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Further reading

The definitive social history of Welsh rugby is Smith, D. and Williams, G. (1980) Fields of Praise, Cardiff, University of Wales Press. This is updated in the same authors’ chapter ‘Beyond the Fields of Praise: Welsh Rugby 1980–1999’ in Richards, H., Stead, P. and Williams, G. (1999) More Heart and Soul. Cardiff, University of Wales Press.
There is remarkably little in the way of cultural studies or sociology on Welsh rugby. The exception is the work of John Harris, including: Harris, J. (2009) ‘Outside the fields of praise: women’s rugby in Wales’ International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing. Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 167–182.
Harris, J. (2007) ‘Cool Cymru, rugby union and an imagined community’ International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 27, No. 3/4, pp. 151–162.
Harris, J. and Clayton, B. (2007) ‘The First Metrosexual Rugby Star: Rugby Union, Masculinity, and Celebrity in Contemporary Wales’ Sociology of Sport Journal, Vol. 24, pp. 145–164.
Harris, J. (2006) ‘(Re)Presenting Wales: National Identity and Celebrity in the Postmodern Rugby World’ North American Journal of Welsh Studies, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 1–12.
Harris, J. (1996) ‘Match Day in Cardiff: (Re)imaging and (Re)imagining the Nation’ Journal of Sport & Tourism, Vol. 13, No. 4, pp. 297–313.
There is a revealing account of how the map of Wales was redrawn so as to qualify for European assistance in Kevin Morgan’s article ‘How objective 1 arrived in Wales: the political origins of a coup,’ Contemporary Wales, vol. 15, 2002, pp. 20–30. This includes some discussion of how people use mental maps.
Together with Adam Price, Morgan sets out the case for west Wales inThe Other Wales, Cardiff, Institute of Welsh Affairs, 1998.
Harold Carter’s ‘Foreword’ to the 1996 reissue of Alwyn D. Rees, Life in a Welsh Countryside (listed in the References) discusses both the context for the original study and subsequent developments in community studies and how they reflect key social changes.
Michael Sullivan discusses the importance of community for people in south Wales in his chapter on ‘Communities and social policy’ in R. Jenkins and A. Edwards (eds), One Step Forward? South and West Wales towards the Year 2000, Llandysul, Gomer, 1990.
Paul Cloke et al.’s Rural Wales: Community and Marginalization (listed in the References) pp. 16ff deals with ideas of Welsh identity and in-migration; pp. 156ff. discuss the idea of community and how people interpret it.
Contemporary Wales University of Wales Press, Cardiff. This annually published journal always includes a chapter examining the contemporary Welsh economy. It provides an update of the key features of economic activity in Wales derived from the most recently available statistics.
For an excellent overview of the key sectors of the Welsh economy as it entered the 21st century, see Bryan, J. and Jones, C. (eds) (2000) Wales in the 21st Century: an Economic Future, Basingstoke, Macmillan Business.
Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion in Wales. Joseph Rowntree Foundation is a series of reports on the conditions of poverty in Wales. First published in 2005, it has been updated regularly, most recently in 2013 and provides the most recent statistics of key indicators of poverty in Wales.
Dave Adamson’s 2009 article ‘Still living on Edge?’ (in Contemporary Wales, 21, pp.47–66) reviews the current primary causes of poverty in Wales.
For a historical account of the black presence in Wales, see Alan Llwyd (2005) Cymru Ddu/Black Wales: a History, Cardiff, Butetown History and Arts Centre. For a literary account, read the memoir: Charlotte Williams (2002) Sugar and Slate, Aberystwyth, Planet Books.
There are a number of books published by Butetown History and Arts Centre that tell the story of Butetown in the post-war period. See, for example, Neil Sinclair (2003) The Tiger Bay Story, Cardiff, Dragon and Tiger Enterprises.
Jane Aaron, Teresa Rees, Sandra Betts and Moira Vincentelli (eds) (1994) Our SistersLand, Cardiff, University of Wales Press provides a collection of accounts on the changing identities of women in Wales.
For a detailed account of gender and employment in Wales, see: Teresa Rees (1999) Women and Work: 25 years of Gender Equality in Wales, Cardiff, University of Wales Press.
For a recent albeit gloomy update, see Brooks, S and Gareth, Owen ap (2013) Welsh Power Report. Women in Public Life. Electoral Reform Society Cymru.
Davies, J. (1993) The Welsh Language, Cardiff, University of Wales Press provides a good introduction to the development of the Welsh language and to Welsh-language culture.
An accessible introduction to theoretical discussions about nationalism is Guiberneau, M. (1996) Nationalisms: The Nation-State and Nationalism in the Twentieth Century, Cambridge, Polity Press.
McAllister, L. (2001) Plaid Cymru: The Emergence of a Political Party, Bridgend, Wales, Seren, is a study of the party in the second half of the twentieth century.
The following two books provide perspectives from within the language movement and political nationalism: Thomas, N. (1991 [1971]) The Welsh Extremist, Talybont, Wales, Y Lolfa. Williams, P. (1981) Voice from the Valleys, Aberystwyth, Wales, Plaid Cymru.
For more on the why Labour was so popular in industrial south Wales in the 1920s and 1930s, an excellent starting point is Chapter 9 (‘The frontier years’) of Williams, G.A. (1985) When was Wales?, London, Penguin.
Both chapter 8, ‘Wales’s locust years’, of Morgan, K.O. (1981) Wales: Rebirth of a Nation, 18801980, Oxford, Oxford University Press, or Chapter 5, ‘The pattern of Labour politics, 1918–1939’, in Tanner, D., Williams, C. and Hopkin, D. (2000) The Labour Party in Wales, 19002000, Cardiff, provide more material on establishment in the 1920s and 1930s.
For more on the formative 1951–64 period, Chapter 8, ‘The structure of power in Labour Wales, 1951–1964’, in Tanner et al., Labour Party in Wales, provides an excellent overview of developments in north and south Wales.
Chapter 10, ‘Labour and the nation’ in Tanner, D. et al., Labour Party in Wales, pp. 241–64 provides an evaluation of Labour’s dilemmas over devolution.
Finally, for an in-depth view of Labour and devolution, some of Evans, J.G. (2008) Devolution in Wales, Cardiff, University of Wales Press, are useful.
Bogdanor, V. (1999) Devolution in the United Kingdom, Oxford University Press, Oxford, provides an excellent historical account of devolution debates in the United Kingdom. It also considers Welsh devolution as part of a broader programme of constitutional change.
Mitchell, J. (2009) Devolution in the UK Manchester University Press, updates the situation and debate.
For an analysis and explanation of changes in party politics in post-devolution Wales, especially the decline of the hegemonic Labour Party, see Wyn Jones, R. and Scully, R. ‘The end of one-partyism? Party politics in Wales in the second decade of devolution’, Contemporary Wales, vol. 21, pp. 207–17.
The best study of how devolution has impacted on civil society in Wales, drawing on detailed case studies of different civil society organisations, is Royles, E. (2007) Revitalising Democracy? Devolution and Civil Society in Wales, University of Wales Press, Cardiff.
To further explore the idea of Wales as a ‘postcolonial’ nation and the impact of that on representation, see J. Aaron and Chris Williams (eds.) (2005) Postcolonial Wales, Cardiff, University of Wales Press.
For a detailed historical account of the role of cinema in the life of Wales, see David Berry (1994) Wales and Cinema, The First Hundred Years, Cardiff, University of Wales Press.
David Barlow, Philip Mitchell and Tom O’Malley (eds) (2005) Media in Wales: Voices of a Small Nation, Cardiff, University of Wales Press presents an overview of the role of media in Wales.
For a discussion of the future of television in Wales, see Geraint Talfan Davies (ed.) (2009) English is a Welsh Language, Televisions Crisis in Wales, Cardiff, Institute of Welsh Affairs.
To examine the important role of popular music in the way that Wales has been represented, see Sarah Hill (2007) Blerwytirhwng: The Place of Welsh Pop Music, Aldershot, Ashgate.
The Journal of Studies in Theatre and Performance published a special edition on Welsh theatre and performance in 2004, vol. 24, p. 3.
The following is a selection of theatre plays, films and television programmes that might be useful in relation to the ideas discussed in this chapter.
A Way of Life (dir. Amma Asante, 2004)
Beautiful Mistake (dir. Marc Evans, 2001)
House of America (dir. Marc Evans, 1997)
Solomon and Gaenor (dir. Paul Morrison, 1998)
Twin Town (dir. Kevin Allen, 1997)
Caerdydd (not currently available on DVD, but sometimes available to watch on the S4C website)
Dr Who (Series 1, Episode 11, ‘Boom Town’, available from BBC Worldwide)Gavin and Stacey (Series 1 and 2 available from BBC Worldwide)
Torchwood (Series 1, Episode 1 available from BBC Worldwide)
Owen, G. (2005) Plays: 1, London, Methuen.
Teare, J. (ed.) New Welsh Drama, Volume 2, Cardiff, Parthian.
Thomas, E. (2002) Selected Work 95–98, Cardiff, Parthian