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Women could do the technical jobs normally performed by men, freeing those men for combat.Each branch of the armed services formed their own auxiliary corps for women.They worked on observation posts and as anti-aircraft gunners, drivers, mechanics, and radio operators.
The normalization of married women’s employment was one of the major social changes taking place in western societies in the second half of the twentieth century.
Focusing on Britain, this article explores the role played by the emerging discipline of sociology in fostering this change between 19.
But whilst sociological research into women had a cultural throw which reached far beyond professional social science, its authors could not always control the meanings it acquired in the hands of others.
It could, for instance, be deployed by professional women’s bodies to advance demands for flexible working, or by civil servants to legitimize inaction on day care provision for the children of working mothers.
It was bombed and sunk by the Japanese and twelve nurses were drowned.
Another group of 22 nurses, captured by the Japanese on the Indonesian island of Banka, were marched off the beach into shallow water and killed by machine gun fire.The tendency for young wives to work until the birth of their first child rather than resigning upon marriage accounted for some of this growth, but more significant were the older mothers re-entering the workforce after a period of full-time housewifery.How British women’s lives were changing as a consequence of these new demographic facts and socio-economic trends became a regular theme in popular post-war discourses of gender.Only one – Vivian Bullwinkel – survived, despite being wounded, by pretending to be dead.In another incident, nurses Vera Torney and Margaret Anderson won bravery awards for shielding patients with their own bodies when their ship came under enemy fire.Social science, as this article seeks to demonstrate, had a major hand in framing the public meanings of the shifting female life-course, and particularly in making sense of the phenomenon of married women’s work.Researchers such as Viola Klein, Pearl Jephcott, Judith Hubback, Ferdynand Zweig, Nancy Seear and Hannah Gavron produced a body of sociological writings on this subject in the 1950s and 1960s that had purchase beyond the confines of professional social science.Many nurses were stationed in Singapore, which was a base for the Allied forces in the Pacific.As the Japanese closed in on Singapore in early 1942, 65 Nurses were evacuated aboad the ship .So, any woman who took a job was somehow taking it from a man, who needed it to support his family. A volunteer force called the Australian Women’s Land Army sent women out from the cities to work on farms: ploughing, harvesting, milking cows.With so many men away at war, this argument could no longer stand. They were essential in keeping up the food supply of Australia.