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European Intellectual History from Rousseau to Nietzsche$
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Frank M Turner and Richard A. Lofthouse

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300207293

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300207293.001.0001

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The Ideology of Separate Gender Spheres

The Ideology of Separate Gender Spheres

(p.208) Chapter 13 The Ideology of Separate Gender Spheres
European Intellectual History from Rousseau to Nietzsche

Frank M. Turner

, Richard A. Lofthouse
Yale University Press

This chapter considers the intellectual forces that came to place women in the situation of remaining in the home looking out on the world of male activity. It discusses the ideology or set of ideas that contributed to the widespread social outlook among the middle and upper classes across the Western world during the nineteenth century—that the lives of men and women by nature pertained to distinct social spheres. In examining this set of ideas, it emphasizes that there was considerable discrepancy between the ideals and realities of the lives of women and the ideology of the separate spheres. Furthermore, much of this outlook informed the lives of middle-class women and what were regarded as respectable working-class women. There were millions of very poor women and women living in rural areas upon whom these ideas had only a minimal impact.

Keywords:   gender roles, middle-class women, upper class, social sphere, working-class women, nineteenth century

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