Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

A History of Women's Work in Pubs


Part of Studies in Australian History

  • Date Published: December 1997
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521568685

£ 25.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Popular imagination has made the pub an enduring cultural icon in Australian life. Since colonisation the pub has played a quintessential part in Australian life, both socially and economically. In this mixture of labour history and cultural history, first published in 1997, Diane Kirkby explores the central figure of the barmaid. Now a dying breed, she once played the combined roles of mate, confidante, surrogate-mother and sexual object. Drawing on previously unused archives, documentary sources and oral history, Barmaids traces the sexualisation of the industry and the feminist and temperance debates about it. It covers women's demands for equal pay and drinking rights in the post-war period and concludes in the mid-1990s with the labour market changes and drinking customs which saw the end of the old pub culture and the place of barmaids within it.

    • The first history of Australia's drinking culture
    • Makes extensive use of photographs and visual representations of barmaids
    • Suggests new ways of exploring the relationship between gender, work and leisure
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    '… fascinating and highly readable … meticulously researched.' Panorama

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: December 1997
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521568685
    • length: 258 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.35kg
    • contains: 30 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. 'No place for a woman?': pub-keeping in colonial times
    2. 'The photographer and the barmaid': narrating women's work 1850s–1910s
    3. 'The problem of the barmaids': urbanisation and legislative reform 1870s–80s
    4. 'Wanted, a beautiful barmaid...': temperance and the language of desire
    5. 'White slaves behind the bar': the WCTU, the nation, and 'the barmaid'
    6. 'When men wore hats': gender, unions, and equal pay 1908–49
    7. 'Beer, glorious beer': pub culture and the six o'clock swill 1920–50s
    8. 'In praise of splendid gels': sex, work and drinking culture 1960s–90s

  • Author

    Diane Kirkby, La Trobe University, Victoria

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.