Issue Details: First known date: 2014 2014
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'The post-war period in Australia (1945–1965) saw women returning to housework and housewifery from their wartime paid employment. To assist women in this role, Melbourne publisher M. A. White published Women’s World (1958), a comprehensive training manual for women, in which its editor Alleyne Jukes referred to women as unacknowledged specialists. Men, she argued, spent years of their lives training for their chosen careers but women received no training for the significant role that they played in the home. The happiness of the whole family depended on their skill and knowledge, yet this was mostly gained through ‘hit and miss methods’. Women’s World offered to solve this problem by giving women access to a ‘finishing school’ – beyond the reach of most women but vital to their femininity. Making a good impression was paramount, and to do this a women needed – more than anything else – to have good taste. A closer look at Women’s World shows, however, that the information in its many sections was provided by companies that saw this manual as a way of marketing products and services into households. Working from Kops, to focus on the home and, within that, the kitchen as a site of ‘aspirational consumption’ (2006: 1), this article uses Women’s World to explore the link between ‘taste’ and ‘consumerism’ and investigate the agency this mobilisation of taste brought women in post-war Australia. ' (Publication abstract)

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Last amended 13 May 2014 13:34:59
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