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Durham e-Theses
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Speaking as we find: the experience of women workers in Tyneside industry

Bennett, Caroline Barker (1987) Speaking as we find: the experience of women workers in Tyneside industry. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This study is based on material contained in conversations recorded in 1983- 1984, between the author and nineteen women who worked, or had worked, in industry on Tyneside. The women left school and started work between 1934 and 1981. Their personal expedience is related in the study to published and archival material on the history of women's employment in the north east during the period and to more general issues concerning women and work. Part I deals with the women's experience of entering the world of work, many as shop assistants, and of how they came to move into industry. The limited employment choices open to them are discussed from both a regional and personal perspective. Part II considers the economic and social background to the history of women’s employment in the region during the period covered by the study. Part III explores the women's experience as shop-floor workers, supervisors and shop stewards with particular reference to the clothing and engineering industries. It looks in depth at their experience in 'Jameses', an engineering works, and the effect on workers of its incentive scheme. A chapter describe; the experience of those involved in setting up and working in a women’s clothing manufacturing co-operative. The final chapter draws out some conclusions from the study: how factory work is important to women in ways not previously fully explored; how, although the period 1945-80 offered working class women in the north east greater employment opportunities than before or since, their skills and abilities were not fully used. The major implication of the study is that training for women workers still needs to be taken much more seriously.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1987
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Feb 2013 13:50

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