France Between the Wars: Gender and Politics
This text challenges a prevailing assumption that women had little influence or power in France during the interwar period. Sian Reynolds shows how women in fact had both autonomy and authority within the political arena through their activities in social work, peace movements and strikes, and in other areas less directly linked with conventional politics. Sian Reynolds brings together two kinds of history: the political history of France between the wars as it appears in general textbooks, and the work carried out in women's history covering the same period. In doing so she creates a history in which gender contributes in new ways to historical analysis. The book is not, however, concerned exclusively with critical hariography. It is also the result of the author's and others' recent empirical and archival research. As such, it is a book which will appeal to both those studying French history and women's history.
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DEMOGRAPHY AND ITS DISCONTENTS
FROM KINDERGARTEN TO YOUTH HOSTEL
A SLIP OF A GIRL CAN FLY IT The false promises of aviation
WHAT DID PEOPLE DO ALL DAY? The sexual division of labour in France between the wars
FROM THE DEPRESSION TO THE STRIKES Ouvriers and ouvrieres
SEXES? The politics of social intervention from the Great War to the Popular Front
THE PERMEABILITY OF PUBLIC LIFE Mainstream and alternative politics
WAR AND PEACE Assent and dissent
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activity Alquier anti-fascism approach argued associations aviation Bard birth rate Blum boys Brunschvicg caseworkers Catholic census chapter Communist party conference context creche culture debate demographic domestic Dreyfus affair Duchene early economy elections employment example factory favour feminine feminism feminist Femmes flying French women gender girls groups Henri Sellier historians hostels ibid industrial inter-war France inter-war period Jean Gabin labour movement Lacore League League of Nations LIFPL Ligue lycees Maitron male Marguerite Durand married Minister Ministry mothers Noiriel official organizations ouvriere pacifism Paris particular peace campaigns pilots planes politicians Popular Front pronatalist Radical records recruited republican Resistance role sector Sellier sexes sexual SFIO social services social workers socialist strikes suggests Suresnes Suzanne textbook Third Republic trade union union vote WILPF woman women workers women's history women's suffrage working-class young youth movements
Page 13 - I assume that history's representations of the past help construct gender for the present. Analyzing how that happens requires attention to the assumptions, practices and rhetoric of the discipline, to things either so taken for granted or so outside customary practice that they are not usually a focus for historians
Page 11 - To pursue meaning, we need to deal with the individual subject as well as social organization and to articulate the nature of their interrelationships, for both are crucial to understanding how gender works, how change occurs. Finally, we need to replace the notion that social power is unified, coherent, and centralized with something like Michel Foucault's concept of power as dispersed constellations of unequal relationships, discursively constituted in social "fields of force.
Page 11 - Experience is at once always already an interpretation and something that needs to be interpreted. What counts as experience is neither self-evident nor straightforward; it is always contested, and always therefore politicaL The study of experience, therefore, must call into question its originary status in historical explanation.
Page 11 - ... brings about) change in our understanding of Man (a simple cumulative pluralism won't work). The radical threat posed by women's history lies exactly in this kind of challenge to established history; women can't just be added on without a fundamental recasting of the terms, standards and assumptions of what has passed for objective, neutral and universal history in the past because that view of history included in its very definition of itself the exclusion of women.