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Gender and class negotiations in an Edwardian welfare organisation : a tale of two women.

Spence, J. (2006) 'Gender and class negotiations in an Edwardian welfare organisation : a tale of two women.', Women's history review., 15 (2). pp. 277-295.


This article considers the role played by two women in the establishment of a 'Waifs Rescue Agency and Street Vendors' Club', opened for boys in the East End of Sunderland in 1902. The parts played by the women enabled the male managers to resolve tensions relating to discourses of 'rescue' associated with a Barnardo model of social work, and the realities of the practical need of local boys for a place of recreation more appropriate to club work. The club minutes illustrate the association between middle-class female power and the caring aspects of child rescue enshrined within social work. Resistance of local families to rescue afforded a place for working-class female intervention but only if it remained invisible and under the protection of the middle-class female presence. The story of the two women explains how institutional masculine power was reasserted through a reconfiguration of practices and relationships.

Item Type:Article
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Record Created:07 Aug 2008
Last Modified:16 Aug 2011 09:41

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