Residential patterns in the nineteenth century city : Kingston upon Hull, 1851

Tansey, Paul Arthur

May 1973

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© 1973 Paul Arthur Tansey. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

Studies of residential patterns have tended to concentrate on cities in modern societies at a similar stage of advanced industrial development. Those studies which have been carried out in less advanced societies, however, suggest that the forces behind residential differentiation vary with the nature of society itself. The three factors of social rank, family status and migrant status have been identified as major dimensions of differentiation within cities, but at a less advanced stage of development these factors are often measured in terms of different criteria, and show differing degrees of interdependence, particularly between the social rank and family status axes.

Nineteenth century Britain presents an interesting example of a society in the transition stage from a pre-industrial to a modern form of organisation. Available evidence suggests the importance of a social rank criterion based on subjective rather than purely economic definitions of social status, and the differing economic circumstances between strata suggest possible links between family status and social rank. Using Hull as a case study, and the 1851 census enumerators' books as a source of data, factor analysis techniques have been used to try to define this pattern of differentiation more precisely.

The main dimensions of residential differentiation are shown to be consistent with the patterns found elsewhere, although the composition of these factors contrasts markedly with the twentieth century situation, due to the specific conditions of the period. Social rank, in particular, illustrates the dichotomy within society between employers and the employed, and migrant status reflects the specific situation of Irish immigrants. An oblique solution supports the idea that social rank and family status show a marked degree of interdependence in this context. The results have clear implications for the study of nineteenth century society, and also contribute to a general theory of urban residential patterns.

Department of Geography, The University of Hull
Davidson, R. N.
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