University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

‘Domestic Soldiers’: The Housewife and War on the Domestic Front in World War Two

King, Elspeth (2016) ‘Domestic Soldiers’: The Housewife and War on the Domestic Front in World War Two. In: Secret Lives of Old Houses: Domestic Life, 1st October 2016, Black Country Living Museum, Dudley, West Midlands. (Unpublished)

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The phrase ‘domestic soldiers’ taken from Jennifer Purcell’s book of the same title epitomises the attitude the government sought to pervade the home front and domestic sphere during the Second World War. The home front was promoted and portrayed as another battlefront with housewives at the fore. This position was constantly reinforced by posters, radio, magazines and newspapers, a version of ‘soft propaganda’ promoted by the British government. The mechanics of rationing, the ration books, coupons and points system are well documented. This case study will look at both food and clothing and examine some of the reality behind the popular images and rhetoric. How did housewives cope and what were the tactics available to them in times of ever increasing challenges and tensions?

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Additional Information:

Conference title: 'Secret Lives of Old Houses: Domestic Life'

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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: Second World War, ‘domestic soldiers’, ‘soft propaganda’, food, clothing, housewives, coping strategies
Subjects: A General Works > AM Museums (General). Collectors and collecting (General)
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Divisions: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Humanities
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Depositing User: Elspeth King
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2016 08:59
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 17:15

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