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Civilization Without Sexes: Reconstructing Gender in Postwar France, 1917-1927 (Women in Culture & Society)

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Civilization Without Sexes: Reconstructing Gender in Postwar France, 1917-1927 (Women in Culture & Society) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In the raucous decade following World War I, newly blurred boundaries between male and female created fears among the French that theirs was becoming a civilization without sexes. This new gender confusion became a central metaphor for the War's impact on French culture and led to a marked increase in public debate concerning female identity and woman's proper role. Mary Louise Roberts examines how in these debates French society came to grips with the catastrophic horrors of the Great War.

In sources as diverse as parliamentary records, newspaper articles, novels, medical texts, writings on sexology, and vocational literature, Roberts discovers a central question: how to come to terms with rapid economic, social, and cultural change and articulate a new order of social relationships. She examines the role of French trauma concerning the War in legislative efforts to ban propaganda for abortion and contraception, and explains anxieties about the decline of maternity by a crisis in gender relations that linked soldiery, virility, and paternity.

Through these debates, Roberts locates the seeds of actual change. She shows how the willingness to entertain, or simply the need to condemn, nontraditional gender roles created an indecisiveness over female identity that ultimately subverted even the most conservative efforts to return to traditional gender roles and irrevocably altered the social organization of gender in postwar France.

Description:

Includes bibliographical references (p. 219-330) and index.

About the Author

Mary Louise Roberts is associate professor of history at Stanford University.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Catharine R. Stimpson

Acknowledgments

Introduction - This Civilization No Longer Has Sexes

Part One - La Femme Moderne

1. This Being Without Breasts, Without Hips

2. She Stood at the Center of a Shattered World

3. Women Are Cutting Their Hair as a Sign of Sterility

Part Two - La Mère

4. A Matter of Life or Death

5. Madame Doesn't Want a Child

Part Three - La Femme Seule

6. There Is Something Else in Life besides Love

7. We Must Facilitate the Transition to the New World

Conclusion - Are We Witnessing the Birth of a New Civilization?

Notes

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780226721224
Author:
Roberts, Mary
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Author:
Roberts, Mary Louise
Location:
Chicago :
Subject:
General
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Military - World War II
Subject:
Human Sexuality
Subject:
Gender Studies
Subject:
Sex role
Subject:
World War, 1914-1918
Subject:
World War, 1914-1918 -- Women -- France.
Subject:
Sex role -- France -- History -- 20th century.
Subject:
Women -- France -- Social conditions.
Subject:
Gender Studies-General
Edition Description:
1
Series:
Women in Culture and Society
Series Volume:
bk. 8
Publication Date:
20081231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
25 halftones
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Feminist Studies » World Feminism
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » General
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Womens Studies
History and Social Science » World History » General

Civilization Without Sexes: Reconstructing Gender in Postwar France, 1917-1927 (Women in Culture & Society) New Trade Paper
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