‘My Own Front Door’ Remembering the 1950s
This final chapter discusses a series of twenty-three interviews with women who left school between 1956 and 1960 in conjunction with already published autobiographical texts. This cohort of women have been the subject of this book, yet in several chapters the voices of the girls themselves have been absent. Discussion has focused on the likely influences available to them on the point of school leaving as they made decisions about their future careers. With the exception of Thelma Veness’s sociological research, source material does not lend itself to a qualitative exploration of girls’ own observations.2 In 1962 Veness asked school leavers to describe their lives by imagining themselves at retirement. I could not ask those girls what ‘really’ happened, there are no records of who they were. However, I was in a position to ask women of that age group to talk about their memories of adolescence.
KeywordsPrevious Chapter School Leaver Front Door Grammar School Early School Leaving
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 3.T. Jordan, Growing Up in the 50s ( London: Optima, 1990 ).Google Scholar
- 5.M. F. Chanfrault-Duchet, ‘Narrative Structures, Social Models and Symbolic Representation in the Life Story’ in S. Gluck and D. Patai (eds) Women’s Words: The Feminist Practice of Oral History ( London: Routledge, 1991 ), p. 78.Google Scholar
- 7.P. Summerfield, Reconstructing Women’s Wartime Lives: Discourse and Subjectivity in Oral Histories of the Second World War ( Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1998 ), pp. 16–23.Google Scholar
- 11.M. Ingham, Now We are Thirty: Women of the Breakthrough Generation ( London: Eyre Methuen, 1981 ), p. 79.Google Scholar
- 17.A. Oakley, ‘Interviewing Women, a Contradiction in Terms’, in H. Roberts (ed.), Doing Feminist Research ( London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1981 ).Google Scholar
- 19.K. Andersen, ‘Learning to Listen. Interview Techniques and Analyses’, in Perks, R. and A. Thomson (eds), The Oral History Reader (London: Routledge, 1998). Perks and Thomson (1998), p. 159.Google Scholar
- 22.S. Rheinharz, Feminist Methods in Social Research ( New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992 ), p. 141.Google Scholar
- 40.M. Evans, A Good School: Life at a Girls’ Grammar School in the 1950s ( London: Women’s Press, 1991 ), p. 12.Google Scholar
- 50.P. Jephcott, Rising Twenty. Notes on Some Ordinary Girls ( London: Faber, 1948 ), p. 118.Google Scholar