Article ID: CBB001251858

“The Family That Feared Tomorrow”: British Nuclear Culture and Individual Experience in the Late 1950s (2012)


Hogg, Jonathan (Author)

British Journal for the History of Science
Volume: 45, no. 4
Issue: 4
Pages: 535-549

Publication Date: 2012
Edition Details: Part of special issue: British Nuclear Culture
Language: English

Journalistic representations of a suicide pact in 1957 encapsulated wider popular assumptions on, and anxieties over, nuclear technology. Through an exploration of British nuclear culture in the late 1950s, this article suggests that knowledge of nuclear danger disrupted broader conceptions of self, nationhood and existence in British life. Building on Hecht's use of the term `nuclearity', the article offers an alternative definition of the term whereby nuclearity is understood to mean the collection of assumptions held by individual citizens on the dangers of nuclear technology: assumptions that were rooted firmly in context and which circulated in, and were shaped by, national discourse. The article will argue that nuclearity was an active component in the formation of British identity by the late 1950s. The article is intended as a starting point for extended reflections on the ways in which nuclearity can add to our understanding of individual experience, nuclear anxiety and Cold War culture in post-war Britain.


Description On the assumptions held by individual citizens on the dangers of nuclear technology.

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Article Hogg, Jonathan; Laucht, Christoph (2012) Introduction: British Nuclear Culture. British Journal for the History of Science (pp. 479-493). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
White, Alice
Weart, Spencer R.
Walker, David M.
Smith, Melissa
Sleigh, Charlotte
Pickren, Wade E.
British Journal for the History of Science
Past and Present
Osiris: A Research Journal Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Endeavour: Review of the Progress of Science
University of California, Los Angeles
The MIT Press
Stanford University Press
Palgrave Macmillan
Oxford University Press
Harvard University Press
Public understanding of science
Nuclear weapons; atomic weapons
Psychology and war
Science and culture
Science and politics
Reagan, Ronald
Bronowski, Jacob
Time Periods
20th century, late
20th century
20th century, early
21st century
19th century
18th century
Great Britain
United States
Soviet Union
Nuclear Test Ban Treaty; Partial Test Ban Treaty; Limited Test Ban Treaty (1963)
United States. Department of Defense
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
Federation of American Scientists
American Psychological Association

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