Advertisement

Advice Manuals and Women’s Employment

  • Stephanie Spencer

Abstract

By the late 1950s, social insurance legislation confirmed Beveridge’s assumption that adult women would spend a large amount of their time in full-time domesticity. Even those women who chose to continue in work once they were married could ‘opt out’ of the system, paying a minimal stamp and claim a reduced number of benefits through their husband. Despite this, Alva Myrdal and Viola Klein’s research identified an increase in the ‘dual role’ model of women’s employment. This model presupposed a much greater investment by women in their paid work than envisaged in the Beveridge Report. Significantly, it did not undermine the priority of the domestic role. Yet the concept of stop gap employment to fill the increasingly short period of time between school leaving and marriage became less acceptable. Careers advice placed emphasis on the process of choosing suitable paid work which could be interrupted, not terminated, by a domestic interlude. Such work was considered especially desirable if it could contribute to the caring or organisational skills required for domesticity. ‘Career’ becomes a gendered term if we think of it as describing an adult’s progression through their working life.

Keywords

Married Woman Career Advice Advice Manual School Leaver Grammar School 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 2.
    C. Briar, Working for Women? Gendered Work and Welfare Policies in Twentieth Century Britain ( London: UCL, 1997 ), p. 108.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    L. Tilly and J. Scott, Women Work and Family ( London and New York: Methuen, 1987 ), p. 3.Google Scholar
  3. 7.
    P. Summerfield, The ‘Levelling of Class’, in H. Smith (ed.), War and Social Change: British Society in the Second World War ( Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1986 ), pp. 179–207.Google Scholar
  4. 13.
    M. Young and P. Wilmott, Family and Kinship in East London ( London: Pelican, 1962 ), p. 54;Google Scholar
  5. P. Jephcott, N. Seear and H. Smith, Married Women Working ( London: George Allen and Unwin, 1962 ).Google Scholar
  6. 18.
    Myrdal and Klein (1956); J. Hubback, Wives Who Went to College (London: Heinemann, 1957); Campbell (1952), p. 29.Google Scholar
  7. 25.
    J. Lewis, ‘Myrdal and Klein, Women’s Two Roles and Post-war Feminism, 1945–1960’, in H. Smith (ed.), British Feminism in the Twentieth Century ( Aldershot: Edward Elgar, 1990 ).Google Scholar
  8. 26.
    V. Klein, Britain’s Married Women Workers ( London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1965 ), p. 29.Google Scholar
  9. 27.
    J. Giles, Women, Identity and Private Life in Britain, 1900–50 ( Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1995 ), p. 19.Google Scholar
  10. 37.
    Penny Tinkler discusses the provisions made for the 15–18 group as a specific pre-adult stage in P. Tinkler, ‘Girlhood in Transition? Preparing English Girls for Adulthood in a Reconstructed Britain’, in C. Duchen and I. Bandhauer-Schoffmann (eds), When The War Was Over: Women, War and Peace in Europe, 1940–1956 ( Leicester: Leicester University Press, 2000 ).Google Scholar
  11. 39.
    J. Shelley, Careers for Mothers: a complete guide to part-time work for women (Parents Magazine, 1957 ).Google Scholar
  12. 42.
    J. Heal, Jeanne Heal’s Book of Careers for Girls (London: Bodley Head, 1955 );Google Scholar
  13. E. Brockett, Choosing a Career ( London: Staples Press, 1959 ).Google Scholar
  14. 61.
    The Countess of Roseberry, The Ambitious Girl ( London and Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1943 ), p. 14.Google Scholar
  15. 64.
    E. Craig, Housekeeping: A Book for the Single-handed Housewife ( London: Collins, 1950 ), p. 128.Google Scholar
  16. 74.
    Ministry of Education, Citizens Growing Up: At Home, in School and After, pamphlet number 16 ( London: HMSO, 1949 ).Google Scholar
  17. 78.
    D. Neville-Rolfe, Nothing Venture: The Story of the House of Citizenship (privately printed, 1961), p. 36.Google Scholar
  18. 84.
    J. B. Marcham, ‘Part-Time Employment’, Women’s Employment, 4. 1. 1957, p. 387.Google Scholar
  19. 95.
    V. Klein, The Feminine Character: The History of an Ideology ( London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner and Co, 1946 ), p. 170.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Stephanie Spencer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephanie Spencer
    • 1
  1. 1.University College WinchesterUK

Personalised recommendations