Through Eyes in the Storm: Aspects of the Personal History of Women Workers in the Industrial Revolution
Posted: 24 Nov 1997
This article suggests that women's experience of child labour in factories in early nineteenth century England increased women's psychological susceptibility, both in life-cycle and social-historical trajectories, to non-wage earning roles as mothers. The analysis uses as a primary source of insight an official examination into how a ten-year old female factory worker was punished in a particular instance. Drawing upon this text, I put together a different set of stories -- the story of that girl and her mother in a psychological and relational struggle under the circumstances of their lives, an alternative story of how other girls coped, and an account of how these personal dynamics fit into the broader social history of women in nineteenth century England. This history offers important insights into the effect of deprivation and brutality on the development of gender.
JEL Classification: N3, J0
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation