Women Workers in the Second World War: Production and Patriarchy in Conflict

Women Workers in the Second World War: Production and Patriarchy in Conflict

by Penny Summerfield
     
 

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The Second World War is often seen as a period of emancipation, because of the influx of women into paid work, and because the state took steps to relieve women of domestic work.

This study challenges such a picture. The state approached the removal of women from the domestic sphere with extreme caution, in spite of the desperate need for women’s

Overview

The Second World War is often seen as a period of emancipation, because of the influx of women into paid work, and because the state took steps to relieve women of domestic work.

This study challenges such a picture. The state approached the removal of women from the domestic sphere with extreme caution, in spite of the desperate need for women’s labour in war work. Women’s own preferences were frequently neglected or distorted in the search for a compromise between production and patriarchy. However, the enduring practices of paying women less and treating them as an inferior category of workers led to growth in the numbers and proportions of women employed after the war in many areas of work.

Penny Summerfield concludes that the war accelerated the segregation of women in 'inferior' sectors of work, and inflated the expectation that working women would bear the double burden without a redistribution of responsibility for the domestic sphere between men, women and the state.

First published in 1984, this is an important book for students of history, sociology and women’s studies at all levels.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A reprint of the 1984 edition. Summerfield (social history of education, Lancaster U.) concludes that war work accelerated the segregation of women into inferior jobs. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781136247262
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
03/05/2013
Series:
Routledge Library Editions: Women's History
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
232
File size:
3 MB

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