Philanthropy, entrepreneurship and transnational exchange: women's campaigns for employment in Berlin and London, 1859-1900

Richmond, Sarah Louise (2011) Philanthropy, entrepreneurship and transnational exchange: women's campaigns for employment in Berlin and London, 1859-1900. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This thesis focuses on the 'moral panic' provoked by single, 'redundant' middle-class women in the nineteenth century and extends current research by exploring the debate in Europe from both a comparative and transnational perspective. Both pitied and pilloried, unmarried women were deemed to be 'surplus' women and two institutions were established in Berlin and London to provide them with vocational training and employment: the Lette-Verein and the Society for Promoting the Employment of Women respectively. This thesis contends that a comparative study is vital in understanding their work and that hitherto undiscovered transnational lines of communication between them shaped their aims, achievements and development.

A comparative perspective will reveal how not only feminists but male social reformers of the liberal bourgeoisie worked together across national boundaries in the campaign to provide middle-class women with employment. It will explore how women who took charge in both cities were not merely philanthropists, but forged their own careers as leaders and entrepreneurs. Case-studies will scrutinize and compare the businesses these institutions founded to train and employ women and analyze their varying degrees of success. This thesis will argue that the women in charge of these enterprises were compelled to negotiate a difficult boundary between commercial and welfare values to be successful. Furthermore, it will reveal that transnational networks were consolidated by men and women who exchanged information and ideas across national boundaries. They were keen to compete with their foreign contemporaries, yet found valuable support from their associates abroad. This thesis concludes that transnational cooperation between men and women in the mid-1860s formed the basis of a more formal international women's movement in the late nineteenth century.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Harvey, E.
Keywords: Philanthropy, Entrepreneurship, Women, Employment, Lette-Verein, Society for Promoting the Employment of Women
Subjects: H Social sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Arts > School of Humanities
Item ID: 13318
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 28 May 2013 12:00
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2017 11:37

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