The Rise of Professional Women in France: Gender and Public Administration since 1830

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This history of professional women in positions of administrative responsibility illuminates women's changing relationship to the public sphere in France since the Revolution of 1789. Linda L. Clark traces several generations of French women in public administration, examining public policy, politics and attitudes, and women's work and education. Women's own perceptions illustrate the changing gender roles and relationship to the state. This study gives unique insights into French history and the history of women, and will interest scholars of European history and specialists in women's studies.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Careful and lucidly presented..." Journal of Interdisciplinary History

"[Clark] has not only produced a remarkably thorough and richly detailed analysis of the administrative services and the professional women who staffed them, but in addition the chronological sweep of the book provides a rare view of the long-term evolution of women's administrative work. Effectively using personnel dossiers and interviews with women civil servants, Clark balances statistics and administrative detail with invaluable individual career histories. In short, this is an excellent case study of the relationship between women, the state, and public life that shows how the expansion of state administration created gender segregation in public sector employment over nearly 150 years." Journal of Modern History

"The author is to be congratulated on her persistence and on the valuable fruit that it has produced, which is as informative on the workings of the civil service as it is on women's political ambitions." Historian

"Staggeringly impressive...It should greatly interest readers not only as a contribution to gender studies, administrative history, and the (not always obvious) linkage between mentalites and social history but as a balanced, judicious, and well-researched contribution to general French history." American Historical Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521773447
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/21/2000
  • Pages: 338
  • Lexile: 1820L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations; Acknowledgements; List of abbreviations; Introduction; Part I. Defining a Feminine Sphere of Action, 1830–1914: 1. Public roles for maternal authority: the introduction of inspectresses, 1830–1870; 2. Educating a new democracy: school inspectresses and the Third Republic; 3. Addressing crime, poverty, and depopulation: the Interior ministry inspectresses; 4. Protecting women workers: the Labor administration; Part II. Steps Toward Equality: Women's Administrative Careers since the First World War: Introduction: the First World War: a '1789' for women?; 5. New opportunities for women in central government offices, 1919–1929; 6. The challenges of the 1930s for women civil servants; 7. Gendered assignments in the interwar Labor, Health, and Education ministries; 8. Firings and hirings, collaboration and resistance: women civil servants and the Second World War; 9. After the pioneers: women administrators since 1945; Select bibliography; Index.

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