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Women in Britain

Voices and Perspectives from Twentieth Century History

Janet Howarth

288 pages
I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd
The millennium has sharpened perspectives on the history of women in twentieth-century Britain. Many features of the contemporary gender order date only from the last decades of the century – the expectation of equal opportunities in education and the work-place, sexual autonomy for the individual and tolerance of a variety of family forms. The years dominated by the two World Wars saw real advances towards equal citizenship and legal rights, and a growing sense of the impact on women of 'modernity' in its various forms, including consumerism and the mass media. But values inherited from the Victorians were still reflected in the class hierarchy, the policing of sexuality and the male-breadwinner family. This anthology of original sources, accompanied by a state-of-the-art bibliography, illustrates patterns of continuity and change in women's experience and their place in national life. An introductory survey provides an accessible overview and analysis of controversial issues, such as the relationship between 'first', 'second' and 'third' wave feminism.

Author Bio
Janet H. Howarth is Fellow in Modern History at St Hilda's College, Oxford, UK, specialising in the history of the women's movement, women's education and feminist biography.