'A public house is for all classes, men and women alike': women, leisure and drink in Second World War England

Langhamer, Claire (2003) 'A public house is for all classes, men and women alike': women, leisure and drink in Second World War England. Women's History Review, 12 (3). pp. 423-443. ISSN 0961-2025

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Abstract

This article explores cultures of female pleasure within the context of Second World War England, focusing upon the representation and practice of women's leisure on the home front. The article uses a case study of the relationship between young women and public house drinking to explore the gendered meanings attached to leisure spaces by women and men according to historical context and life cycle stage. Drawing upon recent work which has highlighted the complexity of narratives of the War for women, it critically examines contemporary, and retrospective, assertions that increased female pub participation constituted both an expression of, and a contribution to, women's wartime self-confidence. The article suggests that wartime public house participation constitutes an example of women resisting and remaking gendered leisure prescriptions, whilst also demonstrating the limits placed upon such resistance. It concludes that attention to the hitherto underresearched realm of women's leisure provides a useful means of further unravelling the complex impact of war upon gender hierarchies.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > History
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA History of Great Britain > DA020 England
Depositing User: Claire Langhamer
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:05
Last Modified: 13 Aug 2012 07:45
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/23991
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