Making and breaking the rules: women in Quebec,1919-1939

Making and breaking the rules: women in Quebec,1919-1939

Making and breaking the rules: women in Quebec,1919-1939

Making and breaking the rules: women in Quebec,1919-1939s

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Référence bibliographique [8151]

Lévesque, Andrée. 1994. Making and breaking the rules: women in Quebec,1919-1939. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, The Canadian Social History Series.

Fiche synthèse

1. Objectifs

Intentions :
The author seeks to « [...] analyse the theory of appropriate feminine behaviour in every aspect of women’s lives in the years between the First World War and the Second World War. [...] Since reproduction constitutes women’s specific mission, and sexuality, so closely linked to reproduction, equally defines what is particularly female, these two themes imposed themselves as the organizing principles of the entire work. » (p. 7)

2. Méthode

Échantillon/Matériau :
Données documentaires diverses (archives judiciaires, dossiers médicaux, ressources photographiques, journaux de l’époque, etc.)

Type de traitement des données :
Analyse de contenu

3. Résumé

« During the interwar period, Quebec was a strongly patriarchal society, where men in the Church, politics, and medicine, maintained a traditional norm of social and sexual standards that women were expected to abide by. Some women in the media and religious communities were complicit with this vision, upholding the  ''ideal'' as the norm and tending to those ''deviants'' who failed to meet society’s expectations. By examining the underside of a staid and repressive society, Andrée Lévesque reveals an alternate and more accurate history of women and sexual politics in early twentieth-century Quebec. Women, mainly of the working class, left traces in the historical record of these transgressions from the norm, including the rejection of motherhood (e.g. abortion, abandonment, infanticide), pregnancy and birth outside of marriage, and prostitution. Professor Lévesque concludes, ''They were deviant, but only in relation to a norm upheld to stave off a modernism that threatened to swallow up a Quebec based on long-established social and sexual roles.'' » (quatrième de couverture)