The Surplus Woman: Unmarried in Imperial Germany, 1871-1918

Front Cover
Berghahn Books, Oct 30, 2009 - History - 272 pages
0 Reviews

The first German women's movement embraced the belief in a demographic surplus of unwed women, known as the Frauenüberschuß, as a central leitmotif in the campaign for reform. Proponents of the female surplus held that the advances of industry and urbanization had upset traditional marriage patterns and left too many bourgeois women without a husband. This book explores the ways in which the realms of literature, sexology, demography, socialism, and female activism addressed the perceived plight of unwed women. Case studies of reformers, including Lily Braun, Ruth Bré, Elisabeth Gnauck-Kühne, Helene Lange, Alice Salomon, Helene Stöcker, and Clara Zetkin, demonstrate the expansive influence of the discourse surrounding a female surfeit. By combining the approaches of cultural, social, and gender history, The Surplus Woman provides the first sustained analysis of the ways in which imperial Germans conceptualized anxiety about female marital status as both a product and a reflection of changing times.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Introduction
1
Part IDer FrauenuberschuB
21
Chapter 1The Alte Jungfer
23
Chapter 2Sexology and the Single Woman
43
Chapter 3Imagined Demography
66
Chapter 4The Maternal Spirit
93
Part IIAlleinstehende Frauen
117
Chapter 5Moderate Activism
119
Chapter 6Radical Reform
143
Chapter 7Socialism and Singleness
164
Chapter 8Spiritual Salvation
176
Conclusion
199
Appendix
219
Bibliography
247
Index
265
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2009)

Catherine L. Dollard received her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and currently is Associate Professor of History at Denison University. She is the recipient of Bundeskanzler and Renewal Fellowships from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and also has received fellowships from DAAD, the Mellon Foundation, and the Lilly Foundation.

Bibliographic information