By Nancy R. Reagin
Nancy Reagin analyzes the rhetoric, suggestions, and courses of greater than 80 bourgeois women's institutions in Hanover, a wide provincial capital, from the Imperial interval to the Nazi seizure of strength. She examines the social and demographic foundations of the Hanoverian women's circulation, interweaving neighborhood heritage with advancements at the nationwide point. utilizing the German adventure as a case learn, Reagin explores the hyperlinks among political conservatism and a feminist time table according to a trust in innate gender differences.Reagin's research features a big variety of women's organizations—feminist, nationalist, spiritual, philanthropic, political, undefined. It specializes in the ways that bourgeois women's classification historical past and political socialization, and their aid of the assumption of 'spiritual motherhood,' mixed inside an antidemocratic weather to provide a conservative, maternalist method of women's concerns and different political concerns. in accordance with Reagin, the truth that the women's circulation advanced during this manner is helping to provide an explanation for why such a lot of middle-class girls discovered nationwide Socialism beautiful.
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Additional info for A German women's movement: class and gender in Hanover, 1880-1933
9 Recent work on the Wilhelmine women's movement has thus demonstrated admirably that, in the hands of some members of the German movement, essentialism and the concept of spiritual motherhood became the basis for a potentially radical feminist critique of male hegemony. These historians fail, however, to acknowledge the fact that terms like "morality" and "spiritual motherhood" were politically ambiguous, capable of being incorporated into a variety of political agendas; they tend to overlook the ways in which much of the German movement reflected class interests, which were linked to its heavy emphasis on gender differentiation.
Within the Bürgertum, voluntary associations helped to fill members' leisure hours, and became one the chief forums within which bourgeois culture was articulated. The increasing specialization of associations devoted to various arts and sciences led to the creation of an educated public, an audience for new works of art or for scientific debates. Other bourgeois voluntary organizations, devoted to philanthropy or reform, acted as adjuncts to the state in supporting schools, public hygiene, and social welfare projects.
In addition, the achievement of women's suffrage and legal equality appeared to solve the "woman question," and to render the movement superfluous. In Hanover, and in Germany as a whole, the movement groped for a new raison d'être. Set adrift in Weimar Hanover, the organizations that made up the center and liberal section of the local women's movement attracted fewer new women; the movement as a whole was aging. The introduction of local democracy had not proved a happy development for the movement.
A German women's movement: class and gender in Hanover, 1880-1933 by Nancy R. Reagin