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Title: Women students at the University of Oxford, 1914-39: Image, Identity and Experience
Author: Eccles, Kathryn
ISNI:       0000 0000 5101 7401
Awarding Body: Oxford University
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2007
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Abstract:
TIlls thesis investigates the experiences of women students at the University of Oxford during the inter-war period. Historians have tended to focus on the early decades of the women's colleges, during which time the colleges fostered a powerful separatism which sustained them during the difficult period before women were formally admitted to the university in 1920. TIlls thesis explores changes in the culture and experiences of women students at the University of Oxford in the two decades after university membership had been awarded to women. It investigates the educational, social, domestic and political effects of a period in which the university's policy towards women students was changeable and at times brutal.. The thesis initially takes a chronological approach, beginning by exploring the foundations of the women's colleges in Chapter One. Chapter Two explores the experiences of women students during the First World War, showing the tensions between feminine and masculine definitions of patriotism operating within the university at this time which underlined the still unofficial status of the women students. Chapter Three examines formal changes to the status of women in the inter-war period, the debates raised by such changes and the effect of their new status on women students. An important part of the remit of the thesis is to situate the experiences of women students within the wealth of historiography relating to gender and social change in the inter-war years, and subsequent chapters take a thematic approach. Chapter Four investigates women students' experiences of leisure in the university, while Chapter Five investigates the continued primacy of sport at the university, and the ways women students were able to engage with this crucial part of undergraduate identity. Chapter Six investigates the significance of clothing in the representation of women students in the interwar period, including a discussion of the importance of academic dress to their educational identities. The final chapter examines women students' experiences of education and careers during the period, offering some insight into the status of women's academic work within the university and on the e>'l'ectations of the outcomes of higher education for Oxford-educated women. Using this framework, the thesis shows that the academic, social and political culture of the university remained challenging to women students, as they negotiated deeply entrenched forms of discrimination and difference.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Oxford University, 2007 Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.487187  DOI: Not available
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