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Title: Women and occupations in the census of England and Wales : 1851-1901
Author: Wilkinson, Amanda
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2012
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The accuracy of the occupational enumeration of women in the Victorian censuses, and the potential for problems created by the under or mis-enumeration of women's work, has been a source of much debate and discussion over the last 25 years. The principle aim of this thesis has been to ascertain the extent of the under and mis-enumeration, and to question whether the census is as poorly enumerated as has been suggested. The accuracy of the argument that the Victorian Domestic Ideology negatively influenced the recording of women's work is also examined. This has been achieved through the examination of the Census Enumerator's Books in rural, provincial and urban communities, comparing the data contained within these with that held in other primary sources. These include such diverse documents as wage books, workhouse and county asylum admission and discharge registers, newspaper articles, court reports, local histories and contemporary surveys. Geographical coherence has been maintained by focusing on women living in East Anglia and London. Through the careful analysis of the documents available, and the innovative use of varying methodologies, it has been possible to compare and contrast the occupational enumeration of married women living in many different locales and working in diverse occupations across 60 years of history. Through this it has been possible to observe the ways in which the census, far from ignoring the work of married women, mirrors closely the working patterns described in other primary sources and histories. The thesis argues that, whilst it cannot be suggested that all work carried out by women will be found in the census, a far greater percentage is recorded than was previously suggested. Furthermore, the census offers an insight into women's working patterns and experiences, adding to our knowledge of women's work and the ebb and flow of working life.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available