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A Transnational Project? Women and gender in the aocial sciences in Australia, 1890–1945

Journal Article


Abstract


  • This article presents a broad overview of the gendered regimes which shaped the development

    of social scientific knowledge in Australia, and the position of women within the field,

    from 1890 to 1945. It particularly explores the local desire to emulate developments in

    Europe and the United States. Australian women were prominent in early ‘amateur’ social

    science, which was strongly linked to social reforming activities. However, the social sciences

    developed exceedingly slowly within the Australian academy and rather continued to be

    sustained largely by the social reform movement. The continuing lack of formal institutionalisation,

    well into the twentieth century, provided considerable scope for some (privileged)

    women to create themselves as social scientific experts. Indeed, it was largely the interests of

    women social reformers who eventually drove professionalisation of the social sciences from

    the 1930s. Nevertheless, when professionalisation and institutionalisation did finally come

    in the 1940s, Australia followed remarkably similar patterns to those seen in the United

    States and United Kingdom nearly 50 years earlier. Women were largely regulated to the

    lower-status, applied, feminine field of social work while men took over the new and more

    prestigious academic arena.

Publication Date


  • 2009

Citation


  • Carey, J. L. (2009). A Transnational Project? Women and gender in the aocial sciences in Australia, 1890–1945. Women's History Review, 18 (1), 45-69.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-62649155206

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/lhapapers/1779

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 24

Start Page


  • 45

End Page


  • 69

Volume


  • 18

Issue


  • 1

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom

Abstract


  • This article presents a broad overview of the gendered regimes which shaped the development

    of social scientific knowledge in Australia, and the position of women within the field,

    from 1890 to 1945. It particularly explores the local desire to emulate developments in

    Europe and the United States. Australian women were prominent in early ‘amateur’ social

    science, which was strongly linked to social reforming activities. However, the social sciences

    developed exceedingly slowly within the Australian academy and rather continued to be

    sustained largely by the social reform movement. The continuing lack of formal institutionalisation,

    well into the twentieth century, provided considerable scope for some (privileged)

    women to create themselves as social scientific experts. Indeed, it was largely the interests of

    women social reformers who eventually drove professionalisation of the social sciences from

    the 1930s. Nevertheless, when professionalisation and institutionalisation did finally come

    in the 1940s, Australia followed remarkably similar patterns to those seen in the United

    States and United Kingdom nearly 50 years earlier. Women were largely regulated to the

    lower-status, applied, feminine field of social work while men took over the new and more

    prestigious academic arena.

Publication Date


  • 2009

Citation


  • Carey, J. L. (2009). A Transnational Project? Women and gender in the aocial sciences in Australia, 1890–1945. Women's History Review, 18 (1), 45-69.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-62649155206

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/lhapapers/1779

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 24

Start Page


  • 45

End Page


  • 69

Volume


  • 18

Issue


  • 1

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom