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'The academic woman': Minds, bodies, and education in Britain and Germany, c. 1860 - c. 1914

Rowold, Katharina Judith; (1997) 'The academic woman': Minds, bodies, and education in Britain and Germany, c. 1860 - c. 1914. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The thesis is a comparative study of British and German ideas about female nature, as reflected and developed in debates surrounding women's entry into university education. It consists of two parts, respectively on Britain and Germany. Contending conceptions of middle-class women's minds and bodies and their related social roles are explored from the time of the emergence of demands by the organized women's movements in each country to reform middle-class women's education, until after the institutionalisation of women's higher education. The thesis examines how in Britain scientists and physicians became the main participants, as well as feminists, in the public debates about women's education. As for Germany, it focuses on the intervention of academics, physicians, racial hygienists, and sexologists in the debates. It examines how feminists reconstituted, developed, and contributed to conceptions about female nature and women's social roles. It traces the ideas developed respecting the female mind and body and women's ensuing place in society; how they were contested; and how they changed in the period under examination. The contextual nature of the construction of gender difference is highlighted by the examination of two distinct national cultures, which display differences and similarities in the cultural meanings at stake, affecting ideas about female nature and women's social roles and feeding into the education question.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: 'The academic woman': Minds, bodies, and education in Britain and Germany, c. 1860 - c. 1914
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Social sciences; Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10099745
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