Fit Work for Women: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Fit Work for Women

1st Edition

Edited by Sandra Burman


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This book presents a collection of papers which discuss the origins of the domestic ideal and its effects on activities usually undertaken by women: not only on women’s wage work, but also on activities either not defined as work or accorded an ambiguous status. It discusses the formation of the ideology of domesticity, philanthropy and its effects on official policy and on women, landladies in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, working-class radical suffragists, and Labour Party and trade union attitudes to feminists.

Modern society of 1979, when the book was first published, is analysed in a discussion of militancy and acquiescence among women wage workers, a look at how and why the legal system reinforces activity specialisation according to gender, and an examination of why both pre-pre-war capitalism and the modern Welfare State have been unable to meet the needs of dependents. This collection reflects the increasing recognition that in order to understand women’s roles today, it is necessary to examine not only their current manifestations, but also their origins and early development.

Table of Contents

Preface. Introduction Sandra Burman 1. The Early Formation of Victorian Domestic Ideology Catherine Hall 2. A Home from Home – Women’s Philanthropic Work in the Nineteenth Century Anne Summers 3. The Separation of Home and Work? Landladies and Lodgers in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century England Leonore Davidoff 4. Women Cotton Workers and the Suffrage Campaign: The Radical Suffragists in Lancashire, 1893-1914 Jill Liddington 5. Militancy and Acquiescence Amongst Women Workers Kate Purcell 6. The Male Appendage – Legal Definitions of Women Katherine O’Donovan 7. The Welfare State and the Needs of the Dependent Family Mary McIntosh 8. Domestic Labour and the Household Maureen M. Mackintosh

About the Series

Routledge Library Editions: Women's History

Reissuing seminal works originally published between 1928 and 1992, Routledge Library Editions: Women's History offers a selection of scholarship covering women's roles, gender battles, feminism and other issues through the ages. Topics include women in the World Wars, prostitution in Victorian times, the history of abortion, women's roles in the Stuart era and women's place in the household and in work.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Modern / 19th Century
HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century
HISTORY / Social History