Advice Manuals and Women’s Employment

  • Stephanie Spencer


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.


Married Woman Career Advice Advice Manual School Leaver Grammar School 
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Copyright information

© Stephanie Spencer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

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

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