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Distributed for University of London Press

Precarious Professionals

Gender, Identities and Social Change in Modern Britain

New edition

Distributed for University of London Press

Precarious Professionals

Gender, Identities and Social Change in Modern Britain

New edition

Precarious Professionals details the fight for equality in the workplace, particularly among women and queer people in nineteenth and twentieth-century Britain.
Precarious Professionals uncovers the inequalities and insecurities which lay at the heart of professional life in nineteenth and twentieth-century Britain. This book challenges conventional categories in the history of work, exploring instead the everyday labor of maintaining a professional identity on the margins of the traditional professions. Situating new historical perspectives on gender at the forefront of their research, the contributors explore how professional cultures could not only define themselves against but often flourished outside of, the confines of patriarchal codes and structures.

Precarious Professionals offers twelve fascinating case studies, ranging between the 1840s and the 1960s. From pioneering female lawyers and scientists to ballet dancers, secretaries, historians, humanitarian relief workers, social researchers, and Cold War diplomats, this book reveals that precarity was a thread woven throughout the very fabric of modern professional life. Together, these essays enrich our understanding of the histories and mysteries of professional identity and help us to reimagine the future of work in precarious times.

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Table of Contents

Heidi Egginton and Zoë Thomas

1. Anna Jameson and the Claims of Art Criticism in Nineteenth Century England
Benjamin Dabby

2. Women, Science and Professional Identity, c. 1860-1914
Claire Jones

3. Brother barristers: Masculinity and the Culture of the Victorian Bar
Ren Pepitone

4. Legal Paperwork and Public Policy: Eliza Orme’s Professional Expertise in Late-Victorian Britain
Leslie Howsam

5. Marriage and Metalwork: Gender and Professional Status in Edith and Nelson Dawson’s Arts and Crafts Partnership
Zoë Thomas

6 ‘Giggling Adolescents’ to Refugees, Bullets, and Wolves: Francesca Wilson Finds a Profession
Ellen Ross

7. Women at Work in the League Secretariat
Susan Pedersen

8. Ninette de Valois and the Transformation of Early-Twentieth Century British Ballet
Laura Quinton

9. Archives, Autobiography, and the Professional Woman: The Personal Papers of Mary Agnes Hamilton
Heidi Egginton

10. Women Historians in the Twentieth Century
Laura Carter

11. Feminism, Selfhood, and Social Research: Professional Women’s
Organisations in 1960s Britain
Helen McCarthy

12. The ‘Spotting a Homosexual Checklist’: Masculinity, Homosexuality, and the British Foreign Office, 1965-1970
James Southern

Christina de Bellaigue

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