1st Edition

Gender in the European Town Ancien Regime to the Modern

By Deborah Simonton Copyright 2023
    416 Pages 83 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    416 Pages 83 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Moving from the mid-seventeenth century to the near present, this book marks physical and conceptual changes across European towns and examines how gender was implicated and imbricated in those changes.

    As places which fostered and disseminated key social, economic, political and cultural developments, towns were central to the creation of gendered identities and the transmission of ideas across local, national and transnational boundaries. From 1650 to 2000, towns grew rapidly and responded to the needs for new infrastructures, physical reconfiguration and ideas of citizenship. Gender relations vary over space and time and are continually altering; such variation underlines the need for a thorough non- or even anti-essentialism. Drawing primarily on three themes of economy, civic identity and uses of space, the volume shows that urban development, and responses to it, is not gender neutral and thus argues for the fundamental importance of a gendered perspective.

    Gender in the European Town is a useful resource for all students and scholars interested in urban history and its interaction with gender from 1650 to the present.

    Introduction  1. Absolutism and Enlightenment: Urban Belonging  2. Urban Economies  3. Civic identity and Governance  4. Places and Spaces  5. Bourgeois Century: Shifting Parameters, Shifting Meanings  6. The Transformative Urban Economy  7. Politics and Civic identity  8. Shaping Towns  9. Streets, Sociability and Consuming the Town  10. Re-imaging the City in the Twentieth Century  11. Civic Impulses  12. Work in the modern town  13. Living in Towns  14. Navigating Urban spaces  15. Coda: Imagining the Town, Past and Present


    Deborah Simonton is Associate Professor, emerita, at the University of Southern Denmark, Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, Visiting Professor in Cultural History, University of Turku, author of A History of European Women’s Work and Women in European Culture and Society: A Sourcebook, and General Editor of Routledge History Handbook on Gender and the Urban Experience.

    ‘Exploring gender in the European town, Deborah Simonton provides essential reading for everyone interested in the many dimensions of urban life.’

    Dag Lindstrom, Uppsala University, Sweden

    Gender in the European Town offers a cutting-edge and nuanced survey of how gender informs the urban experience, during a critical period of expansion and evolution. Highlighting the complex interplays of identity, politics, space, belonging, economy and society in small towns and large cities across the breadth of Europe, this volume will be a core text for students and scholars that wish to understand the important role of towns in shaping everyday life and processes of historical change. A remarkable achievement by a leader in the field.’

    Katie Barclay, University of Adelaide, Australia