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Industrialization and the "Woman Question"
Transcript of Industrialization and the "Woman Question"
The "woman question"
Industrialization brought about stresses in Victorian society that give rise to various middle-class reform movements. These movements were related to the stresses of industrialization on the family unit.
What emerges is a focus on Victorian values based on a reinforcement of strict gendered hierarchies in the home and family.
Most importantly, the middle-class Victorian ideal of family was one in which wives were fully subordinate to their husbands as the "angels of home and hearth."
Industrialization placed stresses on society that led to concerns about its effect on the family, specifically the patriarchal structure of that unit.
The ideal structure was a separate spheres model—woman as guardian of the home and man in the public as the primary wage earner.
Industrialization put women in the workforce and generally into the world, and the Victorian middle class ideal was increasingly suffocating for many women
The Victorian Middle Classes Wanted:
Order and security of property and person,
To consume the new products of the industrial age
The separation of home and work and a domestic culture based on age, class, and gender difference and hierarchy.
They hated aristocratic and lower-class idleness and drunkenness, and
individual responsibility, hard work, the worth of an individual as based on merit (not birth), sexual morality, female modesty and obedience
Traditional family relations were recast as a result of the new labor regimes of industrialization.
Young women and children left parental control and authority when they moved away from home for factory work.
Women and children became contributors to the family income, subverting the patriarch's status as primary wage earner.
At the core of anxieties over industrialization, was the effect that it was having on family structures and patriarchal hierarchies within that unit.
A threat to the family?
This was the term used to refer to the debate over the proper role of women in society.
Mrs. Isabella Beeton's
Book of Household Management
The "Blue Stocking"
"Breaking up of the Blue Stocking Club"