Diffusion of a Social Norm: Tracing the Emergence of the Housewife in the Netherlands, 1812-1922
AbstractThe emergence of the housewife in the Netherlands over the period 1812-1922 was strongly influenced by the social norm that women should withdraw from the labour market on the eve of marriage. Adherence to this norm is most clearly reflected in the emergence of the housewife among the lower classes, especially at the close of the nineteenth century among wives of farmers. Women in urban municipalities, however, set the norm far earlier and differences across social classes were significantly larger in towns than in rural areas. Paradoxically, the rise of the housewife did not change work pressures for lower–class women. This paradox is resolved by noting that they substituted registered work for unregistered work, e.g., in house industries, working in the family firm or farm.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 06-107/1.
Date of creation: 04 Dec 2006
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marriage; norms; division of labour; housewife; breadwinner;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
- J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
- J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
- N34 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: 1913-
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-01-23 (All new papers)
- NEP-HIS-2007-01-23 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-LAB-2007-01-23 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2007-01-23 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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