The rural housewife: fact or fiction?

Dunnings, Emily (2006) The rural housewife: fact or fiction? BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    A rural housewife whose primary role is the care of her family is a commonly assumed feature of the rural idyll, generated and maintained by media discourses. It is an aspect of Geography which has been increasingly studied across the United Kingdom since the cultural turn in the discipline over 20 years ago, however there has been little research in the last decade and that which has been conducted fails to encompass all aspects of the rural woman's lifestyle. Here this gap in research was addressed in the semi-rural location of Waltham Chase, Hampshire, with 15 interviews and 79 self administered questionnaire surveys conducted with rural women. The research focused on female employment levels in the area and assessed factors promoting or restraining this such as financial necessity or lack of transport, to establish if the ideal of the rural housewife existed in reality in this area. To further research the world of rural women childcare provisions were examined for those working mothers, including cost and availability of formal childcare, as well as informal options available to women and social attitudes of others towards those women who worked. Participation levels in community activities and informal employment (the voluntary sector) were also established to determine if the number of formally employed women impacted upon these traditional aspects of village life. Concurrent with national statistics the number of employed females in rural locations is shown as increasing in the research area, largely due to financial necessity, while this is not opposed by social attitudes in the area a number of constraints to female employment were highlighted in the research particularly that of childcare availability and cost.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Department of Geography
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:47
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:13
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/188

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