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Gender and Political Identities in Scotland, 1919-1939$
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Annmarie Hughes

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780748639816

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748639816.001.0001

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The Politics of Marriages of Conflict

The Politics of Marriages of Conflict

(p.128) Chapter 6 The Politics of Marriages of Conflict
Gender and Political Identities in Scotland, 1919-1939

Annmarie Hughes

Edinburgh University Press

The inter-war years offered women, particularly young single women, a ‘new modernity’, as employment opportunities extended the breadth of jobs open to them and the expansion of commercial leisure enhanced possibilities for pleasure. Information on birth control and greater use of contraceptives also offered the potential to postpone marriage and reduce family size. Yet the new employment opportunities did little to alter the ‘pin money’ wages of women or women's economic dependency on marriage. Marriage and motherhood were actively promoted as the natural and fulfilling aspirations for women by the state, state agencies, the clergy, religious organisations and the media. To encourage women to have more children attempts were made to propagate the ‘companionate marriage’ that identified a woman's role as different from her husband's, but of equal importance. Women were to be loved and respected, provided for and protected. Housing developments also helped facilitate the companionate marriage.

Keywords:   women, housing developments, companionate marriage, inter-war years, motherhood

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