Diffusion of a Social Norm: Tracing the Emergence of the Housewife in the Netherlands, 1812-1922

29 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2009

See all articles by Frans Van Poppel

Frans Van Poppel

Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)

Evelien Walhout

International Institute of Social History

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Abstract

The emergence of the housewife in the Netherlands over the period 1812-1922 was strongly influenced by the social norm that women should withdraw from the labour market on the eve of marriage. Adherence to this norm is most clearly reflected in the emergence of the housewife among the lower classes, especially at the close of the nineteenth century among wives of farmers. Women in urban municipalities, however, set the norm far earlier and differences across social classes were significantly greater in towns than in rural areas. Paradoxically, the rise of the housewife did not change work pressures for lower-class women.

Suggested Citation

Van Poppel, Frans and Walhout, Evelien, Diffusion of a Social Norm: Tracing the Emergence of the Housewife in the Netherlands, 1812-1922. The Economic History Review, Vol. 62, Issue 1, pp. 99-127, February 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1327376 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0289.2008.00433.x

Frans Van Poppel (Contact Author)

Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) ( email )

P.O. Box 11650
NL-2502 AR The Hague
Netherlands
+ 31 70 3565241 (Phone)

Evelien Walhout

International Institute of Social History ( email )

1019 AT Amsterdam
Netherlands

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