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Worcestershire’s Women: Local Studies and the Gender Politics of the First World War and its Legacy

Andrews, Maggie ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5787-6383 (2020) Worcestershire’s Women: Local Studies and the Gender Politics of the First World War and its Legacy. History: The Journal of the Historical Association. ISSN Online: 1468-229X (In Press)

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Abstract

On 6 February 1918, the Representation of the People Act was passed; it enfranchised all men over twenty‐one and women over the age of thirty if either they or their husband met the requisite property qualifications. In public and media history this legislation was regarded as a reward for women's contribution to the war effort and evidence that one of the legacies of the First World War was a range of new opportunities for women.1 This historical narrative has remained stubbornly in place during the four years of the First World War centenary commemoration, although it disregards the degree to which women's experience of the conflict was infinitely varied, influenced by class, age, marital status and a multitude of other factors including whether women were urban or rural dwellers. This article makes the case for the importance of local studies, which have the potential to remind us that a national narrative is not necessarily the national narrative and that global wars have local and personal consequences at the time and in the years that follow. It is, after all, in the mundane and the everyday where gender politics play out, in the multiple, sometimes minute, interactions reliant upon the exercise and internalization of power in intimate and very personal spaces. It is in the politics of the home, the street, the workplace or leisure spaces that power relations are worked through, challenged, stretched and reinterpreted.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Keywords: Worcestershire, local studies, gender politics, First World War, World War 1, women, war, gender relations
Divisions: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Humanities
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Maggie Andrews
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2020 15:22
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2020 09:14
URI: https://eprints.worc.ac.uk/id/eprint/9160

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