Monday, October 25, 2010

Book ~ "Breadwinning Daughters: Young Working Women in a Depression-Era City, 1929-1939" (2010) Katrina Srigley

From Amazon ~ As one of the most difficult periods of the twentieth century, the Great Depression left few Canadians untouched. Using more than eighty interviews with women who lived and worked in Toronto in the 1930s, Breadwinning Daughters examines the consequences of these years for women in their homes and workplaces, and in the city's court rooms and dance halls.

In this insightful account, Katrina Srigley argues that young women were central to the labour market and family economies of Depression-era Toronto. Oral histories give voice to women from a range of cultural and economic backgrounds, and challenge readers to consider how factors such as race, gender, class, and marital status shaped women's lives and influenced their job options, family arrangements, and leisure activities. Breadwinning Daughters brings to light previously forgotten and unstudied experiences and illustrates how women found various ways to negotiate the burdens and joys of the 1930s.

I like reading books about Toronto's history ... this is a very interesting book.

It's hard for us to imagine what life was life for women in the 1930s ... having to quit school to get a job to support your family if your father couldn't find one. Taking whatever job you could find and putting up with harassment so you could bring home $12.50 a week. Facing racial biases if you weren't white and of British heritage and having to take jobs as domestics or seamstresses as your only option.

Once women got married, they were automatically fired because it was assumed that she now had a husband who could take care of her so she didn't need a job.

Times have changed (thank goodness!) and we have it so good today.

3 comments:

Lady Banana said...

I enjoy reading this "real" stories as well..

Tatiana said...

I have a strong interest in the Great Depression, and will add this to my read list. Thanks.

Nicola said...

I really enjoy this type of book, thanks for bringing to our attention. Great review!