The Breakdown of Women's Domestic Economy After World War II

Susan Thistle

in From Marriage to the Market

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2006 | ISBN: 9780520245907
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520939196 | DOI:
The Breakdown of Women's Domestic Economy After World War II

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This chapter examines how an initial period of postwar expansion lessened the need for women's domestic labor while opening new possibilities for several groups. It explains that the institution of no-fault divorce, the rising acceptance of cohabitation, the legalization of abortion, and the disappearance of shot-gun weddings enabled women as well as men to avoid bad marriages and pursue better options in the wage economy. But these changes also removed the old arrangements obligating fathers, business, and the state to provide some support for tasks of family care while constructing little in their place.

Keywords: postwar expansion; domestic labor; women; cohabitation; no-fault divorce; legalization of abortion; shot-gun weddings

Chapter.  8670 words. 

Subjects: Marriage and the Family

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