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Title: The importance of gender ideology and identity : the shift to factory production and its effect on work and wages in the English textile industries, 1760-1850
Author: Minoletti, Paul
ISNI:       0000 0004 2719 0115
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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Textile manufacture in England had always employed a high proportion of women and this continued to be the case during the period 1760-1850. However, these industries underwent dramatic changes in both the nature and location of production, and women’s employment opportunities altered. Whilst in some cases technological advances reduced the strength required to perform a given process, making women more attractive to employers, this was not always the case. Urbanisation and factory production increased trade union influence, which often acted to the detriment of women’s access to well-paid occupations. The long standardised hours worked away from the home typically required of factory workers made it harder for women to combine textile work with the mothering and domestic responsibilities expected of them. As well as making it harder for women to work throughout their life, this discouraged investment in human capital of females by both themselves and their parents. Ideological resistance to women’s work outside of the home increased as the Industrial Revolution progressed. The more formalised work hierarchy created by factory production meant that resistance to female authority became increasingly important for denying women access to the best paid occupations. Ideology was not merely a response to material factors, but helped determine decisions made by economic actors. This thesis draws on a number of parliamentary reports over the period 1802-67. Not only do these reports provide a wealth of qualitative information, they also contain quantitative information which enables me to track male and female factory earnings over the life-cycle, by region and industry. The information in the parliamentary reports is used in conjunction with business records of various firms, covering both domestic and factory workers, as well as the writings of numerous contemporary observers.
Supervisor: Humphries, Jane Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Economic and Social History ; England ; eighteenth century ; nineteenth century ; gender ; textiles ; labour history ; trade unions ; Industrial Revolution ; domestic production ; factory production ; work ; wages ; life-cycle ; regional variation