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Title: Interwar headmistresses : gender, identity, space-place
Author: Milsom, Zoe
ISNI:       0000 0004 2727 4933
Awarding Body: University of Winchester
Current Institution: University of Winchester
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis examines the gendered professional identities of six headmistresses who were president of the Association of Headmistresses (AHM) during the interwar period and who taught in four London schools using the concepts of space-place. It explores the way headmistresses situated space-place as a central part of their professional identities. The study makes extensive use of a range of published and unpublished sources, including photographs, diaries, school magazines, newspapers, annual reports and minutes of the AHM to understand how headmistresses used concepts of space-place to confirm and enhance their professional lives in keeping with more general gendered discourses of the time. Three major recurrent themes run throughout the thesis. First is the importance of space-place, as part of our identities. Influenced by the work of Doreen Massey the thesis discusses space-place as a meeting up of social interactions, a sphere of possibility. Each archival chapter discusses space-place in relation to a spatial model used as a lens through which to analyse the professional lives of the six headmistresses. The first archival chapter examines the space-place of the Association and the headmistresses’ corporate identity leading on to a further three main chapters structured successively around the spatial arenas of home, nation and the transnational. These three chapters begin with a discussion of the way in which these spatial arenas are performed within the headmistresses’ schools. Second the chapters reflect on the identity of the headmistresses themselves both individually and collectively. Finally the chapters analyse the way in which the education offered by the headmistresses aimed to construct the model citizen in-line with the discourses and social practices associated with that spatial arena. Drawing together the array of materials and the synthesis of feminist geo-political, historical theories this thesis argues that each headmistress drew on different spatial models to varying extents to legitimise their professional identity. In doing so the thesis highlights the symbiotic relation between space-place and identity.
Supervisor: Spencer, Stephanie ; Goodman, Joyce Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available