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Women in twentieth-century Northern Ireland

This is an examination of the attempts to regulate female sexuality in twentieth-century Northern Ireland from the 1900s to the 1960s. Using a range of archive material, it opens up areas of a previously neglected history, and contributes to social history, women's history and the history of sexuality. The study explores a range of women's experiences, from those involved in prostitution and suspected of having VD, to the anxieties generated by the behaviour of girls and young women in general, particularly on the arrival of US troops during the Second World War. The activities of organisations involved in protecting and preventing girls from ‘falling into sin’ are examined, and the book contains a new assessment of the Magdalen Asylums and discusses Northern Irish experience in the context of comparative studies of female sexual regulation elsewhere. It identifies certain common themes, including the increasing role of medical experts and medical legislation, but also the uniqueness of the experience of this part of Ireland. The book highlights the commonality of Protestant and Catholic attitudes, clearly seen in their reaction to the public health campaigns against VD and the provision of contraception.

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An introduction

History in the historiographical sense is made by us, not by people in the past, nor by the record of their actions. This book facilitates the critical reading of works of history. It looks at the historical profession, its predilections and traditions. The Whig interpretation of history has been chosen to illustrate the relationship between historiography and a prevalent culture because of its central role in the period when the historical profession began to establish itself in England and because of its continuing popular and political influence. The book acts as a guide to reading historiographical texts, looking at the relationship between 'facts' and 'theories', and at 'meta-narrative' and causation. The book examines the issues of planning and structuring in the process of writing an essay. It offers a guide to the writing of academic history at undergraduate level and to the skills involved, and contrasts this with the non-academic uses of history. The book talks about some gender historians who viewed gender identities as expressions of social change within a wider society. It explores the unique fascination that the Nazis has exercised on both academic and popular historiography, along with the allied study of the Holocaust. The book also explores the works of Marxist historians associated with the Communist Party Historians' Group and considers the earlier approaches to cultural history, as influences on the Group, and the development of newer theoretical positions that developed both out of and in opposition to Marxism. The developments in British historiography are discussed.

Author: Kevern Verney

The blossoming of interest in black history since the 1950s was directly linked to the rise of Martin Luther King and the post-Second World War Civil Rights Movement. The advances achieved in desegregation and black voting rights since the 1950s suggested that this was a destination that King's children, and African Americans as a whole, would ultimately reach. In the inter-war years there were indications that some scholars were willing to examine the more depressing realities of black life, most notably in a series of academic studies on lynching. The book discusses the approach of Du Bois to the academic studies on black migrants from a sociological perspective. When African American history began to command more serious attention in the mid-1960s, the generation of historians who had had direct personal experience of the Great Depression and the Second World War began to reach the age of retirement. The book also examines the achievements of race leaders like Malcolm X and Stokely Carmichael, the Black Power Movement and Black Nationalism of the 1960s. In a 1996 study, political scientist Robert C. Scholarly debate on the African American experience from the 1890s through to the early 1920s gathered momentum with fresh studies on the spread of racial segregation and black migration to the cities. The rise of feminism and popularity of women's history prompted academic researchers to pay attention to the issue of gender in African American history. Stereotyped depictions of African Americans in US popular culture are also discussed.

Eileen Fauset

This chapter studies Kavanagh's perspectives on some of the women she discusses in Woman in France during the Eighteenth Century, noting that her main purpose was a celebration of women and of the presence of women in history. It shows that Kavanagh focuses primarily on women of privilege, whose position gave them immense social influence and power over men, and who helped change the course of eighteenth-century France. The chapter determines that Woman in France during the Eighteenth Century serves as an important contribution to women's history, since it succeeds in drawing attention to the experiences and lives of women during that period.

in The politics of writing
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Kevern Verney

This chapter presents some concluding thoughts on black civil rights discussed in this book. During the 1950s and 1960s the spread of more liberal attitudes and values, reflected in the rise of Martin Luther King and the post-war Civil Rights Movement, inspired scholars to investigate the African American past. Scholarly debate on the African American experience from the 1890s through to the early 1920s gathered momentum with fresh studies on the spread of racial segregation and black migration to the cities. The rise of feminism and growth in popularity of women's history in the closing decades of the twentieth century prompted academic researchers to pay more attention to the issue of gender in all periods of African American history. Whether writing about the 1890s or the 1980s historians began to recognize the importance of class divisions in African American communities and the civil rights struggle.

in The Debate on Black Civil Rights in America
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Roger Spalding and Christopher Parker

Gender history presents gender identities, of both men and women, as cultural and social constructs, as, in other words, bundles of meanings usually embodied in language. The reference to semiotics is indicative of the influence of postmodernism on gender historians. This chapter notes that gender historians share the broadly oppositional stance of Women's History. Denise Riley argues that her interest in the gender construction of women flows from her belief that language is the location of women's oppression. The chapter cites some gender historians who viewed gender identities as expressions of social change within a wider society, that, to put it another way, such changes were the product of processes within a wider, external world. It also argues that women will logically continue to grapple with the past and out of that situation will come conflicting interpretations.

in Historiography
Constance Backhouse, Ann Curthoys, Ian Duncanson, and Ann Parsonson

This chapter focuses on women's history and feminist law. Daiva Stasiulis and Nira Yuval-Davis pointed out how 'few analyses of settler societies have examined how settler capitalism exacerbated and transformed relations based simultaneously on colonialism, capitalism, gender, class and race/ethnicity'. Issues of 'race' and gender have been approached in a variety of ways by historians in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Nevertheless, despite the growth in thematic, cross-national and comparative history, the desire for a national history has continued to flourish, in both popular demand and professional historical practice. Where Aotearoa/New Zealand historians have been extremely wary of writing national histories at all, Australian historians have tried to write national histories which embody full attention to both race and gender. The word 'racism' appears to have been coined first in the 1930s, as the scientific construction of racial categories came under intellectual critique.

in Law, history, colonialism
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Activism, feminism and the rise of the female office worker during the First World War and its immediate aftermath
Nicole Robertson

This chapter describes that the First World War and its immediate aftermath was a particularly important period when complex changes took place both in female occupational identity and in work-based activism among clerical workers. It illustrates how the Association of Women Clerks and Secretaries (AWCS) sought equality in training, pay and conditions, and in this sense sought to shift assumptions about women's career opportunities. With regard to the members of the AWCS, both class and gender have played a role in clerical workers being overlooked. The chapter addresses the area that lies between the sub-disciplines of women's history and labour history. The gender-based hostility faced by the AWCS in the immediate aftermath of the First World War sheds light on ways the 'backlash' was encountered and navigated in an occupation that had seen female participation for some forty years.

in Labour and working-class lives
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Unfolding oral history methods
Alison Slater

, London: Routledge. Bornat, J. and Diamond, H. (2007) ‘History and oral history: developments and debates’, Women's History Review , 16 (1): 19–39. Connerton, P. (1989) How Societies Remember , Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Gluck, S. B. and Patai, D. (eds) (1991) Women's Words: The Feminist Practice of Oral History , Abingdon: Routledge. Hajek, A. (2014) Oral History Methodology , London: Sage. Kuhn, A. (2002) Family Secrets: Acts of Memory and Imagination (2nd edn), London: Verso. Oral History

in Mundane Methods
Open Access (free)
Caroline Rusterholz

International Women's Studies , 11:3 (2009), pp. 66–80; Mazumdar, Eugenics ; Grier, ‘Eugenics and birth control’; J. Carey, ‘The racial imperatives of sex: birth control and eugenics in Britain, the United States and Australia in the interwar years’, Women's History Review , 21:5 (2012), pp. 733–52. 42 S. Brooke, Sexual Politics: Sexuality, Family Planning, and the British Left from the 1880s to the Present Day

in Women’s medicine