New Age Travellers: Vanloads of Uproarious Humanity

Hetherington, Kevin (2000). New Age Travellers: Vanloads of Uproarious Humanity. London, UK: Cassell.



New Age Travellers are a hybrid phenomenon: part youth subculture, part alternative lifestyle and part social movement. Their cultural politics has had an impact on many young people in Britain over the final two decades of the 20th century. Drawing on first-hand research, this book describes the emergence and character of the travellers' way of life during the 1980s and 1990s. With its origins in the free-festival culture of the 1970s, New Age Travellers became one of the most notorious folk devils in Britain in the 1980s and early 1990s, notably when they tried to hold festivals at sites like Stonehenge. Despite the subsequent efforts of the Criminal Justice Act to criminalize their way of life, New Age Travellers continue to adapt their lifestyle and retain a shadowy presence within the British landscape. This book looks at the history and lifestyle of the Travellers. It discusses the significance of festivals, consumption and nomadism to their way of life. It also considers the identity they have created for themselves in relation to ideas of ethnicity and class, to questions of Englishness and contested representations of the countryside.

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