How separate a sphere? Poor women and paid work in late-victorian london

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Abstract

The essay traces patterns of poor women' employment in late-nineteenth-century London. It shows that employment was common among single, married and widowed women, except among mothers of young children. Unpaid domestic work and paid employment dovetailed into a constant burden of work facing poor women. This challenges the prevalent argument that married women earned wages only at moments of severe crisis in the household economy. It reveals a culture of women' work among the poor that contrasts sharply with the ideology of separate spheres that excluded middle-class women from employment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-309
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Family History
Volume19
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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