Description - The Struggle for the Breeches by Anna Clark
Linking the personal and the political, this book depicts the making of the working class in Britain as a "struggle for the breeches." The late 18th and early 19th centuries witnessed significant changes in notions of masculinity and femininity, the sexual division of labour, and sexual mores, changes that were intimately intertwined with class politics. By integrating gender into the analysis of class formation, Clark transforms the traditional narrative of working-class history. Going beyond the sterile debate about whether economics or language determines class consciousness, Clark integrates working people's experience with an analysis of radical rhetoric. Focusing on Lancashire, Glasgow and London, she contrasts the experience of artisans and textile workers, demonstrating how each created distinctively gendered communities and political strategies. Workers faced a "sexual crisis", Clark claims, as men and women competed for jobs and struggled over love and power in the family. While some radicals espoused respectability, others might be homophobes, wife-beaters and tyrants at home; a radical's love of liberty could be coupled with lust for the life of a libertine.
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(226mm x 152mm x mm)
University of California Press
Publisher: University of California Press
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Author Biography - Anna Clark
Anna Clark is Associate Professor of History at the University of North Carolina. She is the author of Women's Silence, Men's Violence: Sexual Assault in England, 1770-1845 (1987).