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Title: 'Like a man trying to knit'? : women's cricket in Britain, 1945-2000
Author: Nicholson, Rafaelle
ISNI:       0000 0004 7962 3592
Awarding Body: Queen Mary, University of London
Current Institution: Queen Mary, University of London
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis focuses on a much neglected area of women's history, female leisure. It examines the processes of change since the Second World War in British society as experienced by British women, through the lens of women's cricket, a sport previously completely overlooked by historians. A combination of archival material and oral history interviews with female cricketers past and present is used to examine the constraints faced by women in postwar Britain in gaining access to spaces of leisure such as sport, and the ways in which they exercised agency in overcoming such barriers. The thesis makes a key contribution to the historiography of the women's movement in twentiethcentury Britain, demonstrating that female cricketers always espoused so-called 'second-wave feminist' ideals such as the freedom to control their own bodies, the need for a women-only space, and a rejection of traditional ideas of domesticity in favour of exercising their own right to leisure. Thus, despite the fact that the 'feminist' label is rejected by cricketers in oral history interviews, women's cricket can still be conceived of as a site of feminism. By documenting the problems women had with gaining access to cricketing resources, coverage of female cricketers in the media, and the attitudes of British governments and British society more broadly to women's cricket, the thesis highlights how sport remains an arena in which traditional attitudes to gender roles have until recently undergone very little significant change.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History ; female leisure ; Women's cricket