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Wed 12 April
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    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Thu 13 April
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Fri 14 April
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Wednesday 12 April 2023 14.00 - 16.00
F-3 LAB03 Female Friendly Societies across Europe, 1840s-1940s: Labour, Health, and Mutual-aid
B23
Networks: Labour , Women and Gender Chairs: -
Organizer: Llorenç Ferrer Alos Discussant: Llorenç Ferrer Alos
Moderators: -
Lars Fredrik Andersson : Exploring Female Morbidity in Early 20th Century Sweden
In this paper we investigate historical morbidity trends among women and men at the first half of the 20th century, by employing individual data from one of the largest health insurance societies in Sweden. The health insurance societies welcomed both men and women and had affiliations all over Sweden. By ... (Show more)
In this paper we investigate historical morbidity trends among women and men at the first half of the 20th century, by employing individual data from one of the largest health insurance societies in Sweden. The health insurance societies welcomed both men and women and had affiliations all over Sweden. By considering individual characteristics and the effect of insurance benefits attributed to each assured individual, we investigate to what extent female and male sickness trajectories diverged; the health of women during and after pregnancy and what factors that explain women’s and men’s morbidity over the life course. Until lately these issues have been difficult to assess properly since micro-based data have been limited to the present day or to men’s sickness experience and because historical data have largely been limited to aggregated series. As a result, the paper aims to not only to add to the history of morbidity in Sweden but also to our understanding of sex-specific differences in morbidity more generally. (Show less)

Julien Caranton : Solidarity and Autonomy: Female Mutual Aid Societies in Grenoble (1840s-1914)
In the mid-nineteenth century, the French government and a large part of the elite encouraged popular classes to join together and create mutual aid societies. This liberal recommendation resulted from the observation of industry's growth and pauperism, but also demographic push in cities. Throughout the century, the city of Grenoble ... (Show more)
In the mid-nineteenth century, the French government and a large part of the elite encouraged popular classes to join together and create mutual aid societies. This liberal recommendation resulted from the observation of industry's growth and pauperism, but also demographic push in cities. Throughout the century, the city of Grenoble has been one of the main centres of mutualism in France. In 1858, the municipal administration counted 18 male and 19 female friendly societies. Grenoble was a great open-cast glove-making workshop which employed several thousand seamstresses. Therefore, these women needed support for sickness, maternity and when their bodies wore out.
Using various archives like associations bylaws, minutes of board meetings and general assemblies, accounting registers, member’s address repertories, this paper proposes to measure the medical, social and economic efficiency of female mutual aid societies. Moreover, the case of Grenoble suggests that friendly societies were a space not only of sociability, but also a space where women could fight male domination. (Show less)

Daniel Weinbren : Female Friendly Societies in the UK, 1840s-1940s
In 1874 a Royal Commission classified friendly societies into eleven categories including ‘Societies of Females’. However, such a distinction marginalises the similarities between friendly societies for women compared to male societies and societies open to men and women. They all largely structured reciprocity through set contributions and standardised payments and ... (Show more)
In 1874 a Royal Commission classified friendly societies into eleven categories including ‘Societies of Females’. However, such a distinction marginalises the similarities between friendly societies for women compared to male societies and societies open to men and women. They all largely structured reciprocity through set contributions and standardised payments and had membership eligibility rules relating to moral and financial probity, age and health. Most were male dominated, often saw mutual aid as only one of their concerns and engaged in discussions as to role of the state. Many emphasised the need to bolster gender roles. Legislation (notably the Poor Law and Factory and National Insurance Acts) and conformity to social conventions and practices meant that over the period 1840-1940 friendly societies, particularly which were approved by the state, became increasingly similar. Often smaller, poorer, dominated by wealthy patrons and locally based with no interest in any ‘travelling brothers’ schemes female friendly societies were not simply pale versions of the established Orders. Analysis of their distinctive ideas about work, independence and engagement with trust can illuminate the maintenance of communities during the development of modernity. (Show less)

Alfons Zarzoso : Regimes of Self-help: Female Mutual Aid Societies in Late 19th- and Early 20th-century Barcelona
Since the 1770s the city of Barcelona experienced a social and economic transformation strongly based in the growing process of industrialization. In just over a century and a half, the population increased tenfold, reaching a million inhabitants in the 1930s. Popular classes had to face the challenge of urban industrial ... (Show more)
Since the 1770s the city of Barcelona experienced a social and economic transformation strongly based in the growing process of industrialization. In just over a century and a half, the population increased tenfold, reaching a million inhabitants in the 1930s. Popular classes had to face the challenge of urban industrial life, which was parallel to the policy of social inaction that characterized the Spanish liberal state. This search for protection against the threat of sickness led to the development of different forms of self-help. Despite suffering the ups and downs of political repression or permissiveness, friendly societies were a consistent and extensive response throughout this period. Most of those associations were male, run by men. However, female mutualism had also a significant presence in Barcelona. This issue has received scant historical attention. Through different resources such as association bylaws, minutes of fees and subsidies, housing geography, employment status, marital status and age of associates, and medical reports, this paper tries both to overview female participation in the organization and management of these societies and to evaluate the extent of compatibility between those female societies and the male dominance as breadwinner. As a last objective, this paper reflects on that experience understood in terms of a regime of self-help, a way of living that allowed urban women to develop networks of sociability and survival strategies and fight against the misfortune of sickness. (Show less)



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