by Lesley Johnson & Justine Lloyd - £18.99 Berg (2004)
paperback ISBN 13: 9781845200329 | ISBN 10: 1845200322
The history of the housewife is a complicated and uneasy narrative, rife with contradictions, tensions, and unanswered questions. Challenging our previous assumptions of what consitutes the housewife figure, this book tugs at a critical issue still unresolved in the contemporary world: what is the relationship between women and the home? And why are women so reluctant to call themselves housewives? Starting with an exploration of why the housewife of the 1940s became associated with drudgery, this book covers such topics as the ways in which magazines and advertising attempted to articulate an innate connection between women and the domestic sphere, while later films of the 1950s explored the constantly shifting boundaries between social, family and individual desires for women in the home. The authors also examine how the home has been a site of boredom, and what happens to the balance between work and family in the modern world. Moving into contemporary debates, they explore the uneasy tension between the construction of the modern self and women's efforts to transcend the domestic sphere.
(Price & availability last checked: April 2014)