Women And Industrialization Analysis

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HIST 3205 Dr. Dietz Lown, Judy. Women and Industrialization: Gender at Work in Nineteenth-century England. Cambridge: Polity Press, 1990. Reviewer: CHEN Tianpei, 13254146 “Women question” arose with the Industrial Revolution, which was debated hotly on what the role of women should play when a society went through an enormous material transformation. In this book Lown chooses to focus on one case study that rebuilds and observes the forming and the development of the mechanized silk weaving mill by Samuel Courtauld to investigate the controversial issue of women’s employment in the 19th century in England. Lown argues that the new social pattern of industrialization in the mill is reconstructed by the patriarchal pattern from the past.…show more content…
(p. 2) Though industrialization caused the physical separation between home and workplace, the domination of men still was continuous both in workplace and households. Lown points out that women were dominated in the mill, which means that women usually got lower wages, few promotion chances and lower status than men. On the other hand, in the households, women were in a status of inequality compared with men who predominated as…show more content…
On the one hand, though female workers were the majority of the workforce in the mill (900 were women out of 1089 in 1857), they were almost limited within only two kinds of jobs, weaving and winding. Their mobility of jobs was quite rigid. Meanwhile, compared to female workers, male workers not only had higher wages, but also maintain a more expeditious upward mobility. Moreover, men could involve in more kinds of jobs. Lown states that, “There were two distinct job hierarchies within the mill – one female and one male – with very little interchange between the two.” (p. 49) There were jobs that enable both men and women to take, but these only two kinds of jobs were connected with the age. One was winding, the other one was spindle cleaning, which both got the lowest wages in the mill. (p. 53-54) Lown finds that, “These had worked to ensure a form of occupational segregation which kept women and children in a subordinate position.” (p.

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