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Women, Occupations and Work in the Victorian Censuses Revisited

Higgs, Edward and Wilkinson, Amanda (2016) 'Women, Occupations and Work in the Victorian Censuses Revisited.' History Workshop Journal, 81 (1). 17 - 38. ISSN 1363-3554

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There has long been a tendency amongst historians to view the Victorian censuses of England and Wales as a problematic source for studying the work of women. This article examines some of the key works underpinning this claim and shows their shortcomings, especially in relation to their extrapolation from isolated local studies to the national picture. Drawing upon comparisons between local census returns in East Anglia and London, and other nominal records, the authors show a high degree of agreement between the occupations of women found in the various sources. The range of occupations indicated in the census, and changes therein over time, fit what historians know of the changing economies of the localities studied. The provisional conclusion is that the nineteenth-century census returns are a reliable source for the study of women’s work in the period, and this opens up new fields of study.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > History, Department of
Depositing User: Amanda Wilkinson
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2016 10:52
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2018 15:15

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