The Struggles and Economic Hardship of Women Working Class Activists, 1918–1923

  • Jane L. ChapmanEmail author


The chapter analyses female readers’ letter from the immediate post-World War I period in the ‘Labour Women’ newspaper for members of the then up and coming Labour Party.
  • What was the discursive function of this particular women’s labour movement newspaper when addressing gendered employment issues?

  • How does this social movement communication contribute towards the concept and development of gendered working class cultural citizenship?

Research demonstrates a range of concerns during the aftermaths of war, when many women showed great concern for what one letter referred to as the ‘tyranny of poverty’ and the day to day travails of domestic life, in an age where working class female lifestyles could not benefit from labour saving devices. This was a time when wage and relationship equality were nowhere near part of everyday reality for most readers. The chapter reflects not only on the problems for gender newspaper historians of reflection on past reader participation, influenced by present day perspectives, but also on the need to celebrate the hope and idealism of many female ‘reader—pioneers’.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LincolnLincolnUK

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