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Women’s suffrage societies and the gendering of power: The National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) and Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) as pioneers of women-led organisations

Lovell, Lin

Women’s suffrage societies and the gendering of power: The National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) and Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) as pioneers of women-led organisations Thumbnail


Authors

Lin Lovell



Abstract

This work challenges the consistent application by historians of the term’s militant to the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) and constitutional to the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS). The continuous links with militancy obscures the success of the structures and systems utilised by both societies and this study will concentrate on similarities of the two organisations rather differences. It will provide a focus on a distinctive new approach, an alternative to the previous separation of the societies. This will be accomplished by addressing an important and neglected study of both organisations that were essentially female. This thesis will propose an analytical framework for understanding how both suffrage societies created and ran two very successful organisations. The success of the structures and systems they utilised, provides a new understanding of how they accomplished monster demonstrations. A case study of the South West will detail how they developed new societies nationwide, networked, developed alliances with influential local people and used resident knowledge to recruit women from all sectors of society.

This study identifies how the NUWSS and WSPU suffrage movements contributed to social change. More importantly this work identifies how women organisations both utilised and transgressed the separate spheres ideology. A new understanding of how both societies exploited gender and power to accomplish the success of their organisations. They achieved this by identifying male methods and techniques, they utilised and reinterpreted. This study uses the Edwardian shopping experience of large department stores opening women only tea rooms and provided the WSPU an example for their own very successful shops. They seized market opportunities to raise awareness. The structures and systems employed, were often a reinterpretation of male management methods and facilitated the administration of membership, recruitment, people, events, publicity, propaganda, marketing, executive decisions and governed processes and procedures.

Citation

Lovell, L. Women’s suffrage societies and the gendering of power: The National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) and Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) as pioneers of women-led organisations. (Thesis). University of the West of England. Retrieved from https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/6854851

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Nov 17, 2020
Publicly Available Date Dec 14, 2021
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/6854851

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