On Her Their Lives Depend: Munitions Workers in the Great War

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In this evocative book, Angela Woollacott analyzes oral histories, workers' writings, newspapers, official reports, and factory song lyrics to present an intimate view of women munitions workers in Britain during World War I. Munitions work offered working-class women—for the first time—indepence, a reliable income, even an improved standard of living. But male employers and trade unionists brought them face-to-face with their subordination as women within their own class, while experiences with middle-class ...
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Overview

In this evocative book, Angela Woollacott analyzes oral histories, workers' writings, newspapers, official reports, and factory song lyrics to present an intimate view of women munitions workers in Britain during World War I. Munitions work offered working-class women—for the first time—indepence, a reliable income, even an improved standard of living. But male employers and trade unionists brought them face-to-face with their subordination as women within their own class, while experiences with middle-class women co-workers and police reminded them of their status as working class. Woollacott sees the woman munitions worker as a powerful symbol of modernity who challenged the gender order through her patriotic work and challenged class differences through her increased sping power, mobility, and changing social behavior.

Author Biography: Angela Woollacott is Assistant Professor of History and Director of the Women's Studies Program at Case Western Reserve University. She is the co-editor of Gering War Talk (1993).

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520083974
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 5/20/1994
  • Pages: 256

Meet the Author


Angela Woollacott is Assistant Professor of History and Director of the Women's Studies Program at Case Western Reserve University. She is the co-editor of Gendering War Talk (1993).
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Tables
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 The Army of Women: Munitions Factories and Women Workers 17
2 The Heterogeneity of Women Workers: Mixing and Mobility 37
3 "Industrial Work Is Good for Women": Health, Welfare, Deaths, and Injuries 59
4 Status and Experience as Workers 89
5 "High Wages and Premature Liberty": Wages, Autonomy, and Public Censure 113
6 Off the Job: Leisure, Socializing, and Sex 134
7 Class Relations among Women 162
8 "On Her Their Lives Depend": Gender, War, and Women Munitions Workers 188
Bibliography 217
Index 235
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