Women, health and politics, 1919-1939 : professional and lay involvement in the women's health campaign
Palmer, Diana (1986) Women, health and politics, 1919-1939 : professional and lay involvement in the women's health campaign. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
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Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b1447101~S15
This thesis analyses the aspirations and achievements of
the lay women who were active in the campaign to improve women's
health, and of those women who sought entry into paid occupations
in the health services.
After an introduction, Section One is intended to place the
substantive data in context. Middle-class women's enthusiasm
for voluntary work and the terms on which women entered national
politics are discussed. These issues are used to illustrate
the effects the maintenance of rigid social-class divisions had
on the unity of the women's movement and the implications for
the future of the movement of the decision to seek entry to the
public domain on the grounds that women could make a unique contribution.
Section Two is devoted to the lay women. First, the effect
of the maintenance of rigid social-class divisions on the
women's health campaign and on women seeking a career in the
health services is discussed. Secondly, the consensus between
both middle-class and working-class women, the medical profession
and the Ministry of Health on the need to extend medical services
is analysed, revealing an eagerness to follow technical advice
which affected the strategy of the lay campaign and meant support
for women workers in the health services was often circumspect.
Thirdly, the reasons for the collapse of this consensus
in the l93Os are discussed. This section is concluded with an
assessment of the lay women's health campaign and a discussion
of the impact the campaign had on women health workers.
In Section Three, women's position as paid employees in the
health services is analysed, and three occupations, midwifery,
medicine and health visiting, have been selected. Difficulties
these women encountered establishing themselves in paid employment,
and their status and their relations with male colleagues
and with the Ministry of Health are assessed. The differences
between these three occupations, which prevented a sense of solidarity
and an identification with the goals of the women's movement,
are discussed. Their achievements during the period are
assessed, and the effects of the medicalisation of childbirth
and the increasing involvement of the state in maternity and
child welfare are investigated.
A fourth, concluding section draws these strands together.
The lay women's health campaign and the goals and tactics of the
women health workers are related to the maintenance of the existing
social-class divisions, the ideological splits within the
women's movennt and the persistence of barriers preventing women
from competing on equal terms with men in the public domain.
Although the number of women working in the health services increased
dramatically and women's place in these services was
assured, women generally remained in subordinate positions, excluded
from the prestigious and lucrative posts, while they
achieved only a statutory presence on decision-making bodies.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Women's health services -- Great Britain -- History -- 20th century, Medical personnel -- Great Britain -- History -- 20th century, Women health reformers -- Great Britain -- History -- 20th century, Women -- Employment -- Great Britain -- History -- 20th century|
|Official Date:||September 1986|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Department of Sociology|
|Sponsors:||Social Science Research Council (Great Britain)|
|Extent:||viii, 420 leaves|
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