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Love and Freedom

Love and Freedom
Professional Women and the Reshaping of Personal Life


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  • Date Published: May 1997
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521497619

£ 28.00

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About the Authors
  • In this 1997 book, Alison Mackinnon traces the history of women's challenges to changes in education, employment, reproductive science and law. She shows the connection between the lives of the first generation of women university graduates and the sudden decline in the national birthrate. So dramatic was this shift that it sparked a Royal Commission into its cause. Alison Mackinnon's extensive research shows that the declining birthrate was not simply the result of 'selfish', educated, young women refusing to bear the burdens of motherhood, but was symptomatic of a larger questioning of the role of women in procreation, the role of women in marriage and the institution of marriage itself. Utilising social and government history, autobiography and statistical analysis, this book shows that 'the Marriage Problem' exists as much in the 1990s as it did in the 1890s. Men and women today are still challenging the boundaries between work and home, profession and private life, trying to find a way to have it all.

    • Interdisciplinary - draws from such diverse sources as autobiography and statistics, literature and scholarly argument
    • Draws on personal lives and subjectivities to illuminate wider debates
    • Draws together for the first time women's history and demography to reclaim women's place in reproductive change
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    • Winner of the New South Wales Premier's Gleebook prize for literary and cultural criticism

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 1997
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521497619
    • length: 318 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.43kg
    • contains: 19 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Gender crisis and social anxiety
    2. The selfishness of women: moral panic and the declining birthrate
    3. Sexuality and reproduction: narratives of demography and discourse
    4. The curse of Eve? Family formation and the university woman
    5. 'This dependence of the woman in marriage unspeakably distasteful': from wife to woman
    6. Two antagonistic worlds? Love and the life of the mind
    7. The internationalization of the human heart
    8. Conclusions: both gifts in one hand?

  • Author

    Alison Mackinnon, University of South Australia


    • Winner of the New South Wales Premier's Gleebook prize for literary and cultural criticism

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