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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

The Business of Women

Marriage, Family, and Entrepreneurship in British Columbia, 1901-51

Throughout history, Western women have inhabited a conceptual space divorced from the world of business. But women have always engaged in business. Who were these women, and how were they able to justify their work outside the home? The Business of Women explores the world of those women who embraced British Columbia’s frontier ethos in the early twentieth-century. In this detailed examination of case studies and quantitative sources, Buddle reveals that, contrary to expectation, the typical businesswoman was not unmarried or particularly rebellious, but a woman reconciling her entrepreneurship with her identity as a wife, mother, or widow. This groundbreaking study not only incorporates women into the history of business, it challenges commonly held beliefs about women, business, and the marriage between the two.

224 pages

Table of Contents

1 Businesswomen in British Columbia

2 The Marriage of Business and Women: Family Status and Entrepreneurship in British Columbia

3 Careers for Women: Sex Segregation in Self-Employment

4 “They are quick, alert, clear-eyed business girls”: The Business and Professional Women’s Clubs of British Columbia

5 “You have to think like a man and act like a lady”: Gender, Class, and Businesswomen

Conclusion: “Darkened by family obligations”: Reflections on the Business of Women


Notes; Bibliography; Index

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