Women, work and the demographic transition in the Netherlands, 1880–1960
This book has long been in the making. In fact, it began when I first started wondering – in the 1980s – about the fertility patterns of my two grandmothers who, I felt, were both defying standard demographic transition theory. Both were strong women, but my maternal grandmother combined a relatively restricted number of offspring – four children in all – with a strict devotion to Catholicism and a strong sense of respect for traditional authorities. Moreover, her fertility career also showed signs of attempts to stop childbearing: the birth of her third child was followed by a seven-year birth interval. At that time it was not an easy subject to be discussed between a grandmother and her granddaughter; when asked about this intriguing detail she declared that she had never been that ‘susceptive’ in ‘these matters’, as if she was talking about catching a cold. My paternal grandmother’s life course provided quite a contrasting story. She was always ready to stand up against worldly or clerical authorities and she saw no problem in casting her vote in favour of the ‘reds’, the socialist party. She combined these non-traditional attitudes with a rather traditional fertility pattern. She gave birth to a long line of children; eight children in total who however would not all survive through childhood. My two grandmothers were born in the opening years of the twentieth century, so they belong to the historic world inhabited by the women studied in this book; this I find quite a nice idea...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.