Homeworkers: Work and Family Life

  • Shelley Pennington
  • Belinda Westover
Part of the Women in Society book series (WOSO)


A strategy that married women could adopt to earn money and still fulfil their family commitments was to take in homework. The varying attitudes towards women’s work and specifically towards women’s work in the home were important considerations in determining and influencing women’s employment choices. Since the types of employment engaged in by women in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were determined by social as well as economic considerations, it is useful to look at both middle-class and working-class attitudes towards homework before looking in detail at the groups of women which actually made up the homework labour force.


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  1. 7.
    C. Booth (1891) Life and Labour of the People in London, vol. 1. p. 445.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Shelley Pennington and Belinda Westover 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shelley Pennington
  • Belinda Westover

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