Catalogue


The women's movement and women's employment in nineteenth century Britain [electronic resource] /
Ellen Jordan.
imprint
London ; New York : Routledge, 1999.
description
xv, 261 p. : ill.
ISBN
0415189519 (hardbound)
format(s)
Book
More Details
added author
imprint
London ; New York : Routledge, 1999.
isbn
0415189519 (hardbound)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
8103984
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2000-04:
In Victorian Ladies at Work (CH, Apr'74), Lee Holcombe attributed the expansion of unmarried, English, middle-class women's employment between 1850 and 1914 to the economic growth resulting from industrialization. Jordan (Univ. of Newcastle, Australia), a sociologist, challenges Holcombe's structuralist interpretation. Jordan suggests that the increased middle-class female employment resulted from the opening of previously all-male occupations to women, and maintains that the Victorian women's movement was responsible for this. Previous studies concluded that the Society for Promoting the Employment of Women accomplished little more than securing employment for a few hundred young women, but Jordan considers it of central importance because it successfully undermined the gender ideology that prevented employers from recognizing young women's suitability for a wide variety of occupations. After the women's movement shifted its focus from employment to suffrage in the 1880s, no further occupations were opened to women between 1891 and l9ll. This is an important study that deserves to be widely read. All levels. H. L. Smith; University of Houston--Victoria
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, April 2000
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Summaries
Back Cover Copy
In the first half of the nineteenth century the main employments open to young women in Britain were in teaching, dressmaking, textile manufacture and domestic service. After 1850, however, young women began to enter previously all-male areas like medicine, pharmacy, librarianship, the civil service, clerical work and hairdressing, or areas previously restricted to older women like nursing, retail work and primary school teaching. This book examines the reasons for this change.The author argues that the way femininity was defined in the first half of the century blinded employers in the new industries to the suitability of young female labour. This definition of femininity was, however, contested by certain women who argued that it not only denied women the full use of their talents but placed many of them in situations of economic insecurity. This was a particular concern of the Womens Movement in its early decades and their first response was a redefinition of feminity and the promotion of academic education for girls. The author demonstrates that as a result of these efforts, employers in the areas targeted began to see the advantages of employing young women, and young women were persuaded that working outside the home would not endanger their femininity.
Main Description
In the first half of the nineteenth century the main employments open to young women in Britain were in teaching, dressmaking, textile manufacture and domestic service. After 1850, however, young women began to enter previously all-male areas like medicine, pharmacy, librarianship, the civil service, clerical work and hairdressing, or areas previously restricted to older women like nursing, retail work and primary school teaching. This book examines the reasons for this change. The author argues that the way femininity was defined in the first half of the century blinded employers in the new industries to the suitability of young female labour. This definition of femininity was, however, contested by certain women who argued that it not only denied women the full use of their talents but placed many of them in situations of economic insecurity. This was a particular concern of the Womens Movement in its early decades and their first response was a redefinition of feminity and the promotion of academic education for girls. The author demonstrates that as a result of these efforts, employers in the areas targeted began to see the advantages of employing young women, and young women were persuaded that working outside the home would not endanger their femininity.
Bowker Data Service Summary
This text is a treatment of the expansion of middle class women's work in nineteenth century Britain. It also offers perspectives on the women's movement, women's education, labour history and the history of feminism.
Main Description
This book examines the reasons behind the shift in the occupations deemed acceptable for young women in Britain during the nineteenth century.
Table of Contents
Introduction
The question of middle class women's work
The Constraints of Women's Work
The constraints of gentility: The seperation of work and home and the emergence of the male-breadwinner norm
The constraints of feminity: The domestic ideology
What was 'women's work'? The patriarchal household and employers' 'knowledge'
Strong-minded women
Bluestockings, philanthropists and the religious heterodoxy
Girl's education, governesses, and the ladies' colleges
Female philanthropy and the middle class nurse
The Women's Movement
Redefining "Women's Sphere": Confronting the Domestic Ideology
Redefining "Women's Work": Creating a "Pull Factor"
Redefining "Ladies Work": Creating a "Push Factor"
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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