Female reformers in Victorian Nova Scotia: architects of a new womanhood

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dc.contributor.advisor Howell, Colin D., 1944-
dc.coverage.spatial Nova Scotia
dc.creator Smith, Michael J. (Michael Joan E.), 1955-
dc.date.accessioned 2011-05-09T12:31:47Z
dc.date.available 2011-05-09T12:31:47Z
dc.date.issued 1986
dc.identifier.other HQ1459 N6 S52
dc.identifier.uri http://library2.smu.ca/xmlui/handle/01/22280
dc.description 186 leaves ; 28 cm.
dc.description Bibliography: leaves 162-186.
dc.description.abstract Female reformers of Victorian Nova Scotia played a critical role in interpreting and shaping both their world and their womanhood. As industrialization transformed the modern capitalist order, Maritime women in the last third of the 19th century challenged traditional beliefs about religion, education, sexuality, physicality, politics, work, sports, consumerism, and even the nature of capitalism. These early feminists, from those who were firmly rooted in a maternal orientation to those who had a more critical perspective, all understood and deplored the exploitive characteristics of modern capitalism. By the turn of the century, however, these reformers had embraced a maternal feminist orthodoxy which celebrated notions of women’s moral purity, nurturing ability, and finer sensibilities. In sports, for example, reformers moved from an ideology that promoted healthful recreation to one that emphasized the relation between sport and women’s reproductive destiny. Similarly in the earlier period female workers—from teachers to domestic servants—demonstrated their awareness of both class solidarity and the need for gender equality. Reformers in the last third of the nineteenth century also questioned the nature of sexuality and marriage offering a critique of fashion and capitalist materialism. Again, the reform critique underwent a metamorphosis from critical to maternal feminism after the turn of the century. The results of this transformation were significant. While reformers achieved short term gains, in the long run the emphasis on maternal feminism served to legitimate and institutionalize gender inequalities.
dc.description.provenance Made available in DSpace on 2011-05-09T12:31:47Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 0 en
dc.language.iso en
dc.publisher Halifax, N.S. : Saint Mary's University
dc.subject.lcc HQ1459.N6
dc.subject.lcsh Feminism -- Nova Scotia -- History -- 19th century
dc.subject.lcsh Women -- Nova Scotia -- History -- 19th century
dc.title Female reformers in Victorian Nova Scotia: architects of a new womanhood
dc.type Text
thesis.degree.name Master of Arts in Atlantic Canada Studies
thesis.degree.level Masters
thesis.degree.discipline Atlantic Canada Studies Program
thesis.degree.grantor Saint Mary's University (Halifax, N.S.)
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