Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Joanne Bailey uses gender as an analytical tool in all her research into the history of marriage

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Joanne Bailey uses gender as an analytical tool in all her research into the history of marriage

Professor Joanne Bailey uses gender as an analytical tool in all her research into the history of marriage, parenting, and ideals of women’s and men’s behaviour.

One of her particular interests is exploring how stereotypes of gender roles were often undermined in reality. She is delighted, therefore, to contribute to History Today (volume 64, issue 6, 2014) to explain why gender is essential to understanding the past in all its forms. In a short survey which takes account of how far the scholarship on gender has developed, she makes a powerful case that gender history should not be seen as something of interest only to historians of family, home, or relationships between the sexes (valuable as that is).

She states that gender ‘does not stop at the door when men walk out of their house into the public world. In fact gender history is an indispensable means to understand how past cultures, societies, politics and economies functioned and flourished’. For example, she reveals how crucial gender is to new investigations of the First World War and its repercussions. Joanne concludes that gender history ‘is here to stay: embedded in academic and public histories and the national curriculum and it is already adapting’ to new approaches to historical study.