The Captive Wife
In 1965, at the age of twenty-nine, the young sociologist Hannah Gavron took her own life. A year later, the book based on the research she carried out for her thesis was published as The Captive Wife. Based on first-hand accounts of the lives of working and middle-class working women in Kentish Town in London, it was one of the earliest works of British, sociological feminism and has since become a feminist classic.
Arguing that motherhood stripped women of independence as it often brought an end to paid work, Gavron explores how their values and aspirations as women came into conflict with the traditional role they had to play as mothers.
Written in simple prose and fair-minded in its approach, it became an inspirational book for many mothers, feminists and activists seeking equality for women and remains a vital book today.
This Routledge Classics edition includes a new Foreword by Ann Oakley.
Foreword to the Routledge Classics Edition Ann Oakley
Preface and Acknowledgements
Part 1: Social and Historical Background
1. Legal and Political Changes
2. General Changes in the Structure and Patterns of Family Life
3. The Family Today
4. Changing Patterns of Work
5. A Summary
Part 2: The Survey
6. Background of the Samples
9. Mothers and Children
10. The Running of the Home
11. Social Contacts
12. Children and Leisure
13. Mothers and Work
Part 3: Conclusion and Proposals
14. Conflict and Ambivalence
15. Results of the Survey Summarised
16. A Final Analysis and Proposals for the Future
Appendices of Methods
1. Design of the Interview
3. Selection of the Samples.
“...a model of what a well-informed, humane and intelligent sociologist can do. It is luminous, informative, true: one of the tiny number of good books about marriage and the family, written with compassion but without jealousy or wrath.” - The New Society
“...conveys a sense of passionate interest in the people written about and concern about society.” - Daily Mail