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The Oxford History of Historical WritingVolume 5: Historical Writing Since 1945$
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Axel Schneider and Daniel Woolf

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199225996

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199225996.001.0001

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Women’s and Gender History

Women’s and Gender History

(p.136) Chapter 7 Women’s and Gender History
The Oxford History of Historical Writing

Julie Des Jardins

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at women’s history and its successor, gender history, which emerged as strong new approaches beginning in the 1970s—precisely when the wider feminist movement began to have its most profound impact on at least Euro-American societies. Gender history and women’s history are not the same. The former, larger category overlaps with the latter, and also with areas such as masculinity history, critical race theory, and queer studies. However, it has only been since the 1980s that historians have considered ‘gender’ an historical subject or ‘a useful category of historical analysis’. Nevertheless, various radical, Marxist, and progressive historians had planted the seeds of gender history as early as the 1920s and 1930s, even as they privileged neither women nor gender as subjects. Their questioning of power structures and engagement of politics and relativist concepts were integral to the development of the field later in the twentieth century.

Keywords:   women’s history, gender history, feminist movement, gender, masculinity history, critical race theory, queer studies

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