The Dangers and Temptations of the Street: Managing Female Behaviour in Belfast during the First World War.

TitleThe Dangers and Temptations of the Street: Managing Female Behaviour in Belfast during the First World War.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsMcCormick, Leanne
JournalWomen's History Review
Volume27
Issue3
Pagination414 - 431
Date Published05/2018
Abstract

Concerns about the 'modern girl' have a long tradition, and the changes and disruption brought about by the First World War exacerbated these anxieties. Particular fears were generated about young working-class women in public spaces and an associated decline in moral standards. This article focuses on the city of Belfast and places these concerns expressed about female behaviour during the First World War in a pre-war context. It suggests that the particular circumstances of pre-war Belfast, which included high female employment and rapid industrialisation, had led to growing concerns about young women's behaviour from the late nineteenth century. There had been considerable philanthropic engagement to try to ensure that these women were offered alternative 'suitable' entertainments as opposed to the corrupting influences of the streets. The experience of managing female behaviour in Belfast during the First World War was, therefore, more of continuity rather than change, with ideas of rescue and reform dominating. The article seeks to place Belfast within a comparative context to offer an important regional study, illustrating how unique social, political and religious circumstances influenced the attempts to manage and control female behaviour. [From the Author]

URLhttps://doi.org/10.1080/09612025.2016.1221289
Short TitleWomen's History Review
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