A German women's movement: class and gender in Hanover, by Nancy R. Reagin

By Nancy R. Reagin

Nancy Reagin analyzes the rhetoric, concepts, and courses of greater than 80 bourgeois women's institutions in Hanover, a wide provincial capital, from the Imperial interval to the Nazi seizure of energy. She examines the social and demographic foundations of the Hanoverian women's flow, interweaving neighborhood background with advancements at the nationwide point. utilizing the German adventure as a case learn, Reagin explores the hyperlinks among political conservatism and a feminist schedule according to a trust in innate gender differences.Reagin's research features a wide array of women's organizations—feminist, nationalist, spiritual, philanthropic, political, undefined. It specializes in the ways that bourgeois women's classification history and political socialization, and their aid of the assumption of 'spiritual motherhood,' mixed inside of an antidemocratic weather to supply a conservative, maternalist method of women's matters and different political concerns. in line with Reagin, the truth that the women's circulate developed during this manner is helping to give an explanation for why such a lot of middle-class girls came across nationwide Socialism attractive.

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The Home Front 187 Chapter 10. The Women's Movement Adrift: Revolution, Inflation, and Collapse, 1919-1923 203 Chapter 11. 1. 2. 3. 1. 1. 1. 2. 1. 2. 3. 4. Occupational Background of Husbands and Fathers of Members of Selected Women's Organiza tions in Hanover, ca. 5. Marital Status of Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant Activists, ca. 6. 1. A Social Profile of 18 Hanover Feminist Activists, ca. 1. Professional and White-Collar Women in Hanover, ca. 1925 222 Page xi Acknowledgments One of the most gratifying aspects of completing this studybeyond the golden knowledge that this project is finishedis that it gives me the chance to acknowledge all of the colleagues, friends, and relatives whose criticisms, encouragement, and help made this book possible.

The movement was able to substantially expand bourgeois women's influence in the local public sphere, and to gain generous support from city officials before World War I, because its leaders presented bourgeois women as efficient and increasingly professionalized workers for the common good, fighting social degeneration and, hence, the roots of poverty and misery. Page 8 The women's movement was thus able to build a consensus among Hanover notables that supported its supposedly unpolitical maternal social work and growing influence.

Instead, the movement pursued the politics of class, promoting bourgeois values. In a broader sense, the women's movement was promoting bourgeois cultural hegemony by seeking to inculcate working-class women and girls with bourgeois standards and styles of housekeeping and child-rearing. The movement in effect prescribed a style of family life modeled on bourgeois norms as the cure for supposed social degeneration. Since this life-style was never presented as being explicitly bourgeoisbut rather as being better, more rational, and more hygienicthe movement's work could be seen as überparteilich and for the common good.

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