A German women's movement: class and gender in Hanover, by Nancy R. Reagin

By Nancy R. Reagin

Nancy Reagin analyzes the rhetoric, recommendations, and courses of greater than 80 bourgeois women's institutions in Hanover, a wide provincial capital, from the Imperial interval to the Nazi seizure of energy. She examines the social and demographic foundations of the Hanoverian women's flow, interweaving neighborhood heritage with advancements at the nationwide point. utilizing the German adventure as a case learn, Reagin explores the hyperlinks among political conservatism and a feminist schedule in line with a trust in innate gender differences.Reagin's research contains a big range of women's organizations—feminist, nationalist, non secular, philanthropic, political, undefined. It specializes in the ways that bourgeois women's category historical past and political socialization, and their aid of the belief of 'spiritual motherhood,' mixed inside an antidemocratic weather to supply a conservative, maternalist method of women's matters and different political concerns. in line with Reagin, the truth that the women's circulate advanced during this method is helping to give an explanation for why such a lot of middle-class ladies discovered nationwide Socialism attractive.

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Reagin. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. : alk. paper) 1. FeminismGermanyHannoverHistory19th century. 2. FeminismGermanyHannoverHistory20th century. 3. WomenGermanyHannoverHistory19th century. 4. WomenGermanyHannoverHistory20th century. I. Title. 42'0943dc20CIP 99 98 97 96 95 5 4 3 2 1 Page v FOR BILL Page vii Contents Acknowledgments xi Introduction 1 Chapter 1. The Urban Backdrop 11 Chapter 2. Running Sewing Circles and Visiting the Poor: Women's Associations before 1890 23 Chapter 3.

In this code, a woman's physical integrity and chastity were closely tied to her personal honor. 7 These beliefs were an obvious departure from the behavioral norms observed by most men, but in some ways this was to be expected, since both bourgeois men and women embraced polarized definitions of masculinity and femininity. The two sexes were seen as being both antithetical and complementary. In this schema, men were rational, assertive, strong, and dominant, whereas women were supposed to be more pious, emotional, intuitive, nurturing, and submissive.

Bourgeois women had their own beliefs, some of which overlapped with the values of men of their class, and some of which were uniquely their own. Generally speaking, bourgeois women tended to be more religiously observant, and more fervent in their celebration of religion than their husbands and fathers. Linked to this stronger religious orientation, bürgerliche women adhered more closely to the code of sexual conduct and morals prescribed by organized religion; they tended to reject the idea of a double sexual standard for men and women, and espoused Page 14 the idea of a "single morality" of chastity for men and women.

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