School of History

HST6742 – Women, Family and Work in Post-War Britain

Module code: HST6742

Credits: 30
Semester: YEAR

Module Convenor: Dr David Geiringer

The middle decades of the twentieth century witnessed important changes in the lives of British women, particularly in relation to marriage, motherhood and paid work. This was an era of declining family size and early marriage, of growing affluence and the welfare state, and of increasing employment amongst mothers. Through an intensive engagement with personal testimonies, sociological texts, government records, the popular press and other sources, this QMUL Model special subject will explore the drivers behind these changes, how they were framed and understood in political and sociological debates, and how they were experienced by women from different social, educational and ethnic groups. We will engage with key historiographical, conceptual and methodological problems, from the impact of the Second World War on gender roles and the characterisation of the 1950s as a period of social conservatism, to the challenges - highlighted by feminist historians - of reconstructing women's agency, desires and needs in the past. This module MUST be taken in conjunction with HST6700 History Research Dissertation.

Assessment: Essay 1 (2,000 words) 25%, Essay 2 (2,000 words) 25%, Written Examination (50%)
Level: 6