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Annotated Bibliography Series Number 5

The following books and videos should be available at most British Studies Resource Points. They are not the only materials on this topic there, but are a sample for you to look at and try.

Please send us your comments on the books and videos that you use so that we can add them to our forthcoming editions.


  • Lavery, C., Focus on Britain Today, Macmillan, 1993 (Unit 7. Food and Drink)

This award-winning book has a section on 'Changing Habits' which looks at the ways in which the British diet is changing. As with other sections in the book, this is well laid out and presented. The book is aimed at secondary school students and the approach is inter-cultural.

  • Harvey, P. and Jones, R., Britain Explored, Longman, 1992 (Chapter 15. Health)

Attractively presented with charts, tables, and photographs, and with an interview on audio-cassette at the end of each unit, this book gives an accessible introduction to topics such as this for school-age students.

  • McDowall, D., Britain in Close-up, Longman, 1993 (Chapter 16. A Nation's Health and Wellbeing)

A thorough survey of the NHS and the Social security services in quite densely packed pages of text. The final section focuses on analysis and discussion of the information presented with questions based both on the text and the interpretation of a graph. Suitable as a set text for more able English language users.

  • Broomhead J., Life in Modern Britain, Longman, 1991 (Chapter 10. The Welfare State)

First published in 1962, this book aims to be an introduction of British life and institutions, and covers much the same ground as McDowall above but is drier, has less detail and fewer illustrations.

  • Irwin, J.L., Modern Britain: An Introduction, Routledge, 1994 (Chapter 5. The Welfare State)

Another brief, and no-frills, introduction to the topic.

  • O'Driscoll, J., Britain - The Country and its People: An Introduction for Learners of English, OUP, 1995 (Chapter18. Welfare)

Designed, according to the Introduction 'for learners of English at any level from intermediate upwards', this book gives authoritative summaries on various aspects of British life. This chapter, like the others in the book, has a core text supplemented with photos, diagrams, charts, and extra comments in the expansive margins.

History books used in British schools

  • Brooman, J., A Caring People, Longman History Project, Longman, 1994

Designed for use by teenagers in British schools, this series looks at key issues in twentieth century British history. This book describes the changing patterns of social care and welfare between 1900 and the creation of the Welfare State. Mixes primary and secondary sources in an attractive and informative way.

  • Cloake, J.A., Britain in the Modern World, Oxford History at Key Stage 4, OUP, 1994

Another book designed for use by British schoolchildren, it has a section on the Welfare State and nationalism, and the material is again presented in a very appealing way.

  • Culpin, C., Making Modern Britain, CollinsEducational, 1987

A core text for British schools covering all GCSE British Economic and Social History syllabuses, this book combines narrative with numerous primary written and pictorial sources. Has sections on 'Public Health 1800-1980s' and 'The Making of the Welfare State'.

Resource Books

  • Essential Articles 1, 2, 3, 4, Carel Press, Carlisle, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996

There are numerous articles in these files under headings such as 'Health', 'Food', and others which can be used either as focus material or the basis of discussion work and writing. They can supplement the more factual information available from textbooks. Articles come from both the tabloid and quality press, with editorials, features and letters to the editor.

  • Dyson, A., Britain in View, British Council/Oxford University, 1994 Accompanying book to Video Series (Section 2. Health, pp. 15-23)

This is an excellent example of how to bring together video and written materials in the British Studies classroom. It includes authentic materials, and therefore language, from the television and press, neatly packaged into a series. The videos are of 15 clips from the BBC's 'Newsroom South East' archives from the early 1990s. Health is one issue discussed through 2 main news items: 'Cardiac patients and relatives' and 'Lasers in dentistry'. There is a third section in the chapter devoted to British Studies, focussing on problems for teachers in Britain. The chapter contains background to the subject, an introduction to the video clips, ways of exploiting the texts, supporting press articles and language focus as well as suggestions for classroom activities. Teachers can find further help at the start of the book. There are also tables, charts and suggested project activities. Suitable for use with intermediate and above students.

  • Fact File 98, Carel Press, Carlisle, 1998

The charts and tables on the topic of Health are, as usual with this series, vividly illustrated and capable of being an excellent starting point for topics such as teenage drinking and drug taking, diet, and the cost of health provision.

  • Britain's Health and Social Welfare Services, 1998; Britain's Healthcare Industry, 1999, Foreign and Commonwealth Office Booklets

These booklets give very useful facts and figures on the topics, as well as interesting case studies which are illustrated with attractive photographs, charts, and diagrams.

Other Materials for tertiary level

  • Abercrombie, N. & Warde, N. et al., Contemporary British Society, Polity, Oxford, 1996 (Chapter 9. Health, pp. 379-416)

This offers a general review of the different perspectives and themes within the sociology of health with reference to key theories, theorists and research within the field. Aimed at British undergraduate or 'A' level students, issues such as the unequal access to health care across region, class, gender, and ethnic group are explored and the NHS as a whole reviewed. After each section there are useful summaries at the end, and tables, charts, and graphs are used to good effect. Explanations of some key sociological terminology are also given, and this is a book for those interested in the sociological perspectives on health, and for research and reference at tertiary level.

  • Catterall, P and Obelkevich, J (eds.), Understanding Post-War British Society, Routledge, 1994

Some contributions in this collection will be of interest to students at tertiary level, such as 'Old age and gerontology', by A. Tinker, 'Food and nutrition in post-war Britain', by A. Murcott, and 'Consumption' by J. Obelkevich.

  • Champion, T. et al, The Population of Britain in the 1990s: A Social and Economic Atlas, OUP, 1996

Using data from the 1991 census, there are several maps on the theme of Health here, such as 'Births, deaths, and migration', 'Limiting long-term illness', Who the ill are', and 'Death chances'. As each map comes with supporting tables, diagrams, and textual explanation and interpretation, this can be an excellent supplementary resource, or starting point for discussion.

  • Social Trends 27, Office for National Statistics, The Stationery Office, London, 1997 (Section 7. Health, pp. 121-135; Section 8, Social Protection, pp.137-151)

A variety of statistical tables on various aspects of health and the system of social protection, such as expectation of life at birth, changing patterns in consumption of foods at home, causes of death, NHS expenditure, numbers of patients and doctors, and average number of prescriptions per person. The tables are broken up and made more digestible by commentary on various aspects of the health system. This is an excellent resource book for teachers and students wishing to develop the skill of interpreting statistical data. Various tables could be used as input texts for students to analyse/describe as well as forming the basis for discussion.

  • Britain 1997: an Official Handbook, Central Office of Information, London, 1996 (Chapter on Social and Cultural Affairs, section 25, Health and Social Services; section 26, Social Security; pp. 395-422)

A wealth of factual information presented in an objective, no-nonsense manner as befits an official government publication. Informative on reforms in the NHS in the late 1990s and all the detailed factual information you would expect to find on aspects such as funding, expenditure, and NHS trusts, as well as less documented areas like hospices, solvent abuse, and cancer screening. The texts are clearly written, without jargon and accompanied by lots of relevant statistics, with the aim of presenting the main facts and trends, rather than analysis and commentary. A very useful reference book for teachers covering 'British Life and Institutions' and other British Studies courses.

  • Coleman, D. and Salt, J., The British Population: Patterns, Trends, and Processes, OUP, 1992

A weighty and learned textbook aimed at tertiary level and research students, which takes a synthetic approach to build up an integrated picture of the current British demographic scene. Authoritative descriptions and discussions on many aspects of the health of the nation, such as the decline in mortality and fertility, the influence of agriculture and diet, and differences in mortality rates.

  • Jowell et al, British Social Attitudes, the 13th report, Dartmouth Publishing Company, 1996

Produced by the Social and Community Planning Research Institute, an independent non-profit making body, these reports are based on surveys carried out on a number of questions. In this report, chapters relevant to the theme of Health are Chapter 5, Illegal Drugs, Chapter 8, Attitudes to Euthanasia, and Chapter 9, Public Spending and Taxation. Of interest to anyone doing research in these areas.

  • Hudson, R. & Williams, A., Divided Britain, Wiley, 1995 (Chapter 4.3. Class, Health and Health Care pp. 107-111)

Working on the broad theme of a divided nation, among the topics discussed are the continued links in Britain between social class and health care. Useful material for advanced learners with a special interest in this area.

Other books on Health not in the Resource Points

  • The Black Report and the Health Divide, Inequalities in Health, Penguin, 1980
  • Brown, J., The Welfare State in Britain, Blackwell, 1996
  • Carter, C. and Peel, J., Inequalities in Health, Academic Press, 1976
  • Doyal, L. and Pennel, I., The Political Economy of Health, Pluto Press, 1979
  • Ham, C., The New National Health Service: Organisation and Management, Radcliffe Medical Press, 1991
  • HMSO, Mortaltiy Statistics, HMSO, 1999
  • HMSO, Population Trends, HMSO, 1999
  • HMSO, Regional Trends, HMSO, 1999
  • Le Grand, J. and Robinson, R., Privatisation and the Welfare State, Allen and Unwin, 1984
  • Walters, V., Class Inequality and Health Care: The Origins and Impact of the National Health Service, Croom Helm, 1980

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