Students: A Gendered History: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Students: A Gendered History

1st Edition

By Carol Dyhouse


288 pages

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This compelling and stimulating book explores the gendered social history of students in modern Britain.

From the privileged youth of Brideshead Revisited, to the scruffs at 'Scumbag University' in The Young Ones, representations of the university undergraduate have been decidedly male. But since the 1970s the proportion of women students in universities in the UK has continued to rise so that female undergraduates now outnumber their male counterparts.

Drawing upon wide-ranging original research including documentary and archival sources, newsfilm, press coverage of student life and life histories of men and women who graduated before the Second World War, this text provides rich insights into changes in student identity and experience over the past century.

The book examines :

  • men's and women's differing expectations of higher education
  • the sacrifices that families made to send young people to college
  • the effect of equality legislation
  • demography
  • changing patterns of marriage and the impact of the 'sexual revolution' on female students
  • the cultural life of students and the role that gender has played in shaping them.

For students of gender studies, cultural studies and history, this book will have meaningful impact on their degree course studies.


'In Students: a gendered history, Dyhouse provides a gracefully written monograph on students in modern Britain. It is a rich and rewarding book to read. Methodologically, she offers a beautiful lesson in how to approach the subject as a cultural historian,besides offering a combination of quantitive and qualitative analysis.'

- Gender and Education, Volume 19, No 1. January 2007

Table of Contents

Introduction Part 1: Access and Ambitions 1. Going to University in England between the Wars: Access, Funding and Social Class 2. Men and Women in Higher Education in the 1930s: Family Expectations, Gendered Outcomes 3. Driving Ambitions: Women in Pursuit of a Medical Education, 1890-1939 4. Wasted Investments and Blocked Ambitions? Women Graduates in the Postwar World 5. Gaining Places: The Rising Proportion of Women Students in Universities after 1970 Part 2: Coeducation and Culture 6. Siege Mentalities 7. Women Students and the London Medical Schools, 1914-39: The Anatomy of a Masculine Culture 8. ‘Apostates’ and ‘Uncle Toms’: Challenges to Separatism in the Women’s College 9. Troubled Identities: Gender, Status and Culture in the Mixed College since 1945 10. The Student Rag Conclusion Select Bibliography: Works Used in the Text

About the Author

Carol Dyhouse is Professor of History at the University of Sussex. Her main interests are in women's and gender history and the social history of education. She is the author of No Distinction of Sex? Wmen in British Universities, 1870-1939 (1995).

About the Series

Women's and Gender History

Recent years have witnessed a variety of challenges to the legitimacy of women's history, ranging from the deconstructions of French theory to the advent of 'gender' studies with its post-feminist implications. This series aims to re-establish women's history and to continue to challenge the assumptions of much mainstream history.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gender Studies