This thesis explores how the Danish politicians’ view on female labour in the Danish State Telegraph develops over the period from 1862 to 1905. The thesis is based primarily on discussions from the parliament, referred in Rigsraadstidende and Rigsdagstidende, but includes a wide range of source material. The thesis discusses how middle-class women gained access to work in the State Telegraph, and how politicians argued for the match between these women and the masculine field of telegraphy. In the middle of the 19th century, women from the middle class slowly entered the labour market of the public sphere. They did so in positions matching their role in the private sphere; nursing and teaching. In this thesis I propose, that women gained access to work in the masculine field of telegraphy for two main reasons: The female labour was cheaper than hiring men, and this financial incentive in combination with the rapid expansion of the State Telegraph and the deficit in the 1860s, forced the Minister of Finance to start hiring women. But, in order for women to enter work in the masculine field of telegraphy, the social structures of society had to be met, and the women’s role negotiated, making sure not to clash with prevailing ideologies of gender. This was necessary to ensure that women did not lose their femininity and potential for being a wife, and to ensure that men did not lose their masculine domination, and both worked in accordance with the social structures of society. However, I detect a new and more liberal gender ideology emerging in the law material throughout the time period, which goes into conflict with the existing binary gender ideology. Even though this new gender ideology fights for the female telegraphers in the Rigsdag, it is not until 1905 that minor initiatives towards equality in male and female labour becomes a reality.
|Educations||History, (Bachelor/Graduate Programme) Graduate|
|Publication date||28 Apr 2016|
|Supervisors||Karin Cohr Lützen|
- separate spheres
- 19th century