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Doing a Real Job

Title: Doing a Real Job: The Evolution in Women's Roles in British Society through the Lens of Female Spies, 1914-1945.
Name(s): Wirsansky, Danielle, author
Stoltzfus, Nathan, professor directing thesis
Upchurch, Charles, 1969-, committee member
Roberts, Diane, 1959-, committee member
Florida State University, degree granting institution
College of Arts and Sciences, degree granting college
Department of History, degree granting department
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Master Thesis
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2018
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource (120 pages)
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: The first half of the twentieth century was in many ways a watershed era for women and their role in British society. The world wars ushered in a time of unprecedented change. The wars opened positions for women outside of the home, making it a more accepted practice; the government recruited and drafted women not just for work but for active service. Looking at these changes, the shifts in women’s roles in British society can be reflected by the more extreme cases of this shift, focusing on the experiences of female spies. This paper serves to demonstrate that the involvement of female spies in WWI and WWII is a useful indicator in the shift of women’s role in British society during this span of time. Alongside the goals of the government, this paper aims to analyze the broader shift in gender roles. Focusing in on the micro-history of spies, this study explores the evolution of the experience of female spies from WWI to WWII, reflecting the same kinds of changes taking place in the experience of the everyday British woman. Then, by focusing in on the struggle for agency that British female spies faced in the second world war, the study directly relates their attempts with those of the everyday British woman. War did not simply generate a change, a quick and sudden reversal of gender roles. Instead, the war afforded women opportunities to prove themselves and make strides towards being the kind of woman they wanted to be.
Identifier: 2018_Sp_Wirsansky_fsu_0071N_14327 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of History in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts.
Degree Awarded: Spring Semester 2018.
Date of Defense: March 6, 2018.
Keywords: British Gender Roles, British Spies, Female Spies, Ministry of Information, Special Operations Executive, WWII Spies
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Nathan Stoltzfus, Professor Directing Thesis; Charles Upchurch, Committee Member; Diane Roberts, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Europe -- History
Gender expression
Gender identity
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)
Study and teaching
Persistent Link to This Record:
Host Institution: FSU

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Wirsansky, D. (2018). Doing a Real Job: The Evolution in Women's Roles in British Society through the Lens of Female Spies, 1914-1945. Retrieved from