'They didn't want women back in that job!': the Second World War and the construction of gendered work histories

Summerfield, Penny
March 1998
Labour History Review (Maney Publishing);Spring98, Vol. 63 Issue 1, p83
Academic Journal
This article focuses on the changes in women employment in Great Britain during the Second World War. The article is based on an oral history project conducted by researchers in the early 1990s, and concerns the relationship of the Second World War to women's work histories. The status of the such personal testimony in relation to history has, however, been questioned by some feminist scholars. In particular, post-structuralists such as Joan Scott and Judith Butler detect an essentialist naivety in the focus of women's history on uncovering women's experience in order to understand the working of gender in the past. There were four major formulations of the relationship between women and work over the period of the interviewees' lives, from the First World War to the 1990s.


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