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Welfare and wellbeingRichard Titmuss's contribution to social policy$
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Pete Alcock, Howard Glennerster, and Ann Oakley

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9781861342997

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861342997.001.0001

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The position of women

The position of women

Chapter:
(p.31) Chapter Four The position of women
Source:
Welfare and wellbeing
Author(s):

Ann Oakley

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781861342997.003.0005

This chapter observes that Titmuss stepped outside this limited frame of reference to consider some of the implications for the role of women of social and economic change in industrialised societies. It notes that this is originally a lecture given to the Fawcett Society, a campaigning organisation named after the suffragette Millicent Fawcett. It further notes that the crux of Titmuss's argument in the Fawcett lecture is that childbearing and childrearing now occupy a much less significant portion of women's lives than they used to. It explains Titmuss argued that the reduction of women's reproductive time meant that women still had around half of their lives in front of them when they had ‘completed the cycle of motherhood’, a period increasingly filled by employment. Thus, ‘women's two roles’ had become an accurate descriptor for an increasing proportion of the female population. It opines that Titmuss saw this change in women's position as nothing short of revolutionary.

Keywords:   Titmuss, women, economic change, industrialised societies, Fawcett Society, Millicent Fawcett, childbearing, motherhood, employment, childrearing

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