Nationalising Femininity: Culture, Sexuality and British Cinema in the Second World War (BOK)
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The Second World War was unprecedented in the changes it demanded in the contours of British life. Work, the family, social policies, and the media were all transformed, blurring the boundaries between private and public life and challenging class and gender divisions. In particular women were called on to play a range of new roles which threw into question traditional conceptions of femininity and national identity. What was the relation between gender and nation when the waiting woman was displaced by the mobile woman and homes were flattened by bombs? What happened to notions of femininity, sexual difference and class as women moved into the workplace and donned dungarees, military uniforms and utility clothing? Such questions are explored in this groundbreaking collection of new essays which for the first time brings together the work of prominent feminist researchers in film, media studies, and social history. Case studies examine competing definitions of feminism circulating in cinema, women's magazines, social policies, government pamphlets, fashion, and broadcasting.