ERIC Number: ED221442
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Reference Count: 0
The Education of French Schoolgirls: Pedagogical Prescriptions and Social and Economic Realities during the Third Republic. Working Paper.
Clark, Linda L.
A survey of textbooks used in French elementary schools during the Third Republic illustrates that period's attitudes toward female roles, social class, and religious differences. A sample of 126 public school books and 43 Catholic textbooks reveals that young students were presented the ideal of a woman content to remain inside an orderly household, devoting herself to husband and children. A wife contributed to the social order by keeping her husband happy at home, spending his money wisely, and reminding him, if he was so inclined, that work strikes were harmful to the family. Catholic texts rejected the possibility of divorce which the republic reintroduced in 1884. Both public and Catholic reading texts presented stories about heroes and heroines with whom young people could identify. Girls received messages of social immobility and were warned against trying to improve their status through marrying. Both sexes were taught the desirability of a stable society free from class warfare. The reasons for the emphasis on domestic duties for women lie in the realities of the republic: the rate of industrialization was less rapid than in other countries; working class unrest and militancy existed; and the low birth rate greatly disturbed political leaders. (KC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Radcliffe Coll., Cambridge, MA. Mary Ingraham Bunting Inst.