A Tale of Female Liberation? The Long Shadow of De-Professionalization on the Lives of Post-War Women

TitleA Tale of Female Liberation? The Long Shadow of De-Professionalization on the Lives of Post-War Women
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsWorth, Eve
JournalRevue Française de Civilisation Britannique
Volume23
Issue1
Date Published03/2018
Abstract

This article argues that though women born in the long 1940s experienced an expansion in educational and occupational opportunities, these opportunities were largely in gender segregated jobs within the welfare state. These same jobs were hit hard by the depreciation in working-conditions that occurred from the late 1980s onwards. Women of this generation’s material circumstances and sense of self were significantly affected by these changes; in part, precisely because they had been socialized to expect more from their working-lives. By foregrounding female experience, the article also aims to demonstrate that the shifts in public sector employment enacted by successive Conservative governments constituted a process of de-professionalization which principally impacted women workers. This demonstrates the adaptability of gendered inequality. De-professionalization had such profound implications that it deserves to be considered alongside de-industrialization as one of the key explanatory processes of late twentieth-century Britain and the neoliberal project; doing so would mark a shift away from the masculinised narratives of work that dominate contemporary history. [from the author]

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