A woman’s place?

Challenging values in 1960s Irish women’s magazines

A Woman’s Place? will be published by Manchester University Press as part of their ‘Gender in History’ series in January 2023. Now available to pre-order.

This book explores representations of the domestic in Irish women’s magazines. Published in 1960s Ireland, during a period of transformation, they served as modern manuals for navigating everyday life. Traditional themes – dating, marriage, and motherhood – dominated. But editors also introduced conflicting voices to complicate the narrative. Readers were prompted to reimagine their home life, and traditional values were carefully subverted. The domestic was shown to be a negotiable concept in the coverage of such issues as the body and reproductive rights, working wives and equal pay. Dominant societal perceptions of women were also challenged through the inclusion of those who were on the margins – widows, unmarried mothers, and never-married women. This book considers the motivations of editors, the role of readers, and the influence of advertisers in shaping complex debates about women in society in 1960s Ireland.

CONTENTS

Introduction  
1. Dating to be married  
2. The new marriage manuals  
3. The modern home  
4. Sex knowledge  
5. (Un)planned pregnancy  
6. Happy families?  
7. Single women  
8. An agenda for change  
Conclusion  
Bibliography  
Index

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