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constrained women, which is what the Sex Discrimination Act sought to address. Rather than satisfying demands for equality, the legislation is better understood as a prompt to further investigation into the causes of and explanations for sex inequalities in the workplace.72 South Asian women’s workplace activism As gender inequality occupied a more prominent position in public debates during the 1970s, it is important to recognise there was an increasing awareness of racial discrimination in British workplaces as well. The case studies in the following chapters focus on the

in Women, workplace protest and political identity in England, 1968-85
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part south Wales); 10.7 percent came from London; the south-eastern region contributed 9 percent, and the midlands .2 percent.4 Migrants from outside the home nations did not settle in oxford in significant numbers until after World War Two. It was estimated that in early 1959 there were about 400 to 500 non-white workers in oxford, about 0 to 70 percent of them being West Indian and the rest Indian and Pakistani. Most migrants at this time were men, and the number of women was relatively small.49 However, South Asian women started to arrive in larger numbers from

in Modern motherhood
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same time, some of the women reported feeling ashamed at asking the public for money during the dispute, whilst others felt uncomfortable talking about particular aspects of the strike that violated ‘gendered scripts of appropriate behaviour’.67 Anitha et al. emphasise how these personal, social and cultural factors intersected with women’s material experiences of paid work to shape South Asian women’s narratives about the dispute.68 These examples of existing studies illustrate the value of oral history as a methodology for understanding the everyday motivations and

in Women, workplace protest and political identity in England, 1968-85
Britons and their collectibles in late eighteenth-century India

life in South Asia. 60 At Daylesford, Hastings commissioned architects and artists to fill the estate with reminders of his past in India. He called in the sculptor Thomas Banks to design a fireplace for him. The result, which still exists in the house today, was a marble mantel balanced on the heads of two South Asian women between whom Banks carved a series of scenes

in The cultural construction of the British world

shocking history of ‘virginity tests’ conducted upon South Asian women migrating to Britain during 1968–​79, which they describe as ‘the epitome of an attitude of racial superiority and dominance over the black “other” rooted in Britain’s colonial past’.22 Introducing a class perspective, Satnam Virdee demonstrated that the British working-​class helped intensify negative reactions through the racialisation of British nationalism. Minority ethnic migrants were viewed as outsiders and ‘a source of cheap “foreign” labour deployed by unscrupulous employers with the

in Race and riots in Thatcher’s Britain
Surveying women and the family

, originally from British Guiana (now Guyana), reflected on the pressure she felt ‘to be the perfect housewife and perfect mother. I must be above all possible white criticism.’1 Initially, South Asian women did not come under the same scrutiny because of their smaller numbers and obviously strong family structure, with women occupying traditional roles. The writer Elspeth Huxley thought that, ‘of all immigrant groups, Indians and Pakistanis maintain the tightest family formations, the greatest social cohesion, the strictest moral code.’17 However they still faced reproach

in Modern motherhood
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Women’s labour inside and outside the home

of her first child. In part her satisfaction derived from the flexibility her trade brought her as she could work from home. In consequence she did not feel her ability to care for her children was compromised. Paid work could remain supplementary to Rita’s role as mother and she did not have to challenge contemporary perceptions of womanhood. There were some parallels here with the popularity of home-work among South Asian women later in the century. Home-work was perceived as being more suitable for women to undertake than paid labour outside the home because

in Modern motherhood