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Labouring Lives

Women, work and the demographic transition in the Netherlands, 1880–1960


Angélique Janssens

Labouring Lives unravels the huge changes which have so fundamentally altered the life courses of ordinary women over the past one hundred and fifty years, namely the changes in marriage and fertility patterns. Using dynamic data from Dutch population registers and analytical techniques from the life course approach, the book offers new evidence on women’s changing position in the labour market, their role in pre-nuptial sexuality, and their contribution to marriage and fertility change in the Netherlands between 1880 and 1960. The author reconstructs the socio-economic and demographic worlds of different groups of working and non-working women, and by doing so she is able to locate the various groups driving the changes. Advanced statistical tools enable the author to analyse differences in fertility strategies, stopping versus spacing, employed by various social and cultural groups in the Netherlands. This book leads to conclusions which challenge a number of orthodoxies in the field.
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List of Appendices


Appendix 2.1:  Dutch Population registers and civil registers

Appendix 2.2:  Sampling and data handling procedures

Appendix 2.3:  Example of a household survey: the household of Research Person Fina Siemerink (cohort 1811–1885)

Appendix 3.1:  Coding and classification of occupations

Appendix 3.2:  Occupational distribution of female Research Persons, by town and birth cohort

Appendix 3.3:  Distribution of social origin (as indicated by father’s social class) amongst women in each occupational category, by birth cohort

Appendix 4.1:  The number of cases used to calculate the Kaplan Meier survival curves for entry into marriage

Appendix 4.2:  Kaplan Meier curves showing entry into marriage by social class of father, by cohort; all four towns combined

Appendix 4.3:  The number and percentage of Research Persons in each town by religious affiliation; by cohort.

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