The Struggle For The Breeches

The Struggle For The Breeches

by Anna Clark
     
 

ISBN-10: 0520208838

ISBN-13: 9780520208834

Pub. Date: 04/18/1997

Publisher: University of California Press

Linking the personal and the political, Anna Clark depicts the making of the working class in Britain as a "struggle for the breeches." The late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries witnessed significant changes in notions of masculinity and femininity, the sexual division of labor, and sexual mores, changes that were intimately intertwined with class politics

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Overview

Linking the personal and the political, Anna Clark depicts the making of the working class in Britain as a "struggle for the breeches." The late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries witnessed significant changes in notions of masculinity and femininity, the sexual division of labor, and sexual mores, changes that were intimately intertwined with class politics. By integrating gender into the analysis of class formation, Clark transforms the traditional narrative of working-class history.

Going beyond the sterile debate about whether economics or language determines class consciousness, Clark integrates working people's experience with an analysis of radical rhetoric. Focusing on Lancashire, Glasgow, and London, she contrasts the experience of artisans and textile workers, demonstrating how each created distinctively gendered communities and political strategies.

Workers faced a "sexual crisis," Clark claims, as men and women competed for jobs and struggled over love and power in the family. While some radicals espoused respectability, others might be homophobes, wife-beaters, and tyrants at home; a radical's love of liberty could be coupled with lust for the life of a libertine. Clark shows that in trying to create a working class these radicals closed off the movement to women, instead adopting a conservative rhetoric of domesticity and narrowing their notion of the working class.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520208834
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
04/18/1997
Series:
Studies on the History of Society and Culture Series
Edition description:
REPRINT
Pages:
436
Sales rank:
1,328,513
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.88(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations and Tables
Acknowledgments
1Introduction1
Pt. 1Women and Men in Plebeian Culture11
2Setting the Stage: Work and Family, 1780-182513
3Men and Women Together and Apart: Plebeian Culture and Communities25
4Plebeian Sexual Morality, 1780-182042
5The Struggle for the Breeches: Conflict in Plebeian Marriage63
Pt. 2The Search for Solutions89
6Sin and Salvation: Men, Women, and Faith92
7The Struggle over the Gender Division of Labor, 1780-1826119
8Manhood and Citizenship: Radical Politics, 1767-1816141
9A Wider Vision of Community, 1815-1820158
Pt. 3Domesticity and the Making of the Working Class, 1820-1850175
10Sexual Radicalism and the Pressure of Politics179
11Equality or Domesticity: the Dilemma for Labor197
12Chartism: Domesticity and Politics220
13Chartism and the Problem of Women Workers233
14A Difficult Ideal: Domesticity in Popular Culture and Practice248
15Conclusion264
Appendix on 1841 Glasgow Census Sample273
Notes275
Bibliography377
Index403

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