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Drift en koers. De levens van Hilda Verwey-Jonker (1908-2004)

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Drift en koers (Passion and control) is the first scientific biography on the Dutch socialist, sociologist and feminist Hilda Verwey-Jonker (1908-2004). She is best known for the introduction of the word allochtonen (foreigner/alien) in the Dutch discourse and has very been influential in improving the (legal) status of especially married women. The questions her autobiography provoke were the starting point of my research. I present the results of my investigations into her lives as a passionate socialist, Protestant, intellectual, governor, expert in the field of refugee and migrant issues, ‘grey panther’ and mother of four children in fourteen chapters and fifty images. In the epilogue I present answers to the questions Verwey-Jonkers memoires raise and connect them with the notion that women are not supposed to fight in public. I thus present a new explanation for the very slow entry of women into Dutch parliamentary politics
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In the 1950s, part-time work gradually became an element of labor policy to activate women to participate in the labor market that could be transferred from one country to another. Support of part-time employment in the Dutch labor market, however, was initially not endorsed as a solution to the problem of low female labor force participation but was the outcome of a more complex set of deliberations, in which the moral economy of employers’ organizations conflicted with broader demands for increased productivity. The article contrasts the initial concerns of Dutch employers about increasing women’s labor force participation with the country’s later international role in advocating part-time work for married women on an international scale. The Netherlands thereby serves as a case study of how employers’ organizations instrumentalized part-time employment for their own moral economy based in the breadwinner ideology.
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Politicians all over Europe used to write about their lives, and keep doing so. Like other well-known persons they are “unusual biographical subjects”, because the biographical activity concerning their lives often starts while they are still alive. (Frank 1999). On the one hand, classical autobiographies written by politicians themselves (and their co-authors or ghost-writers) are published widely and are not only an important part of the memory politics and the construction of national history, but also a contribution to the stabilization of gender conceptions.(Depkat 2014, p .247-265; Ulbrich, Jancke and Bosch 2013, p. 5). Often the (auto)biographers intend to contribute to political and historical analyses. On the other hand, life writing has changed and diversified rapidly during the 20th century. The widespread desire for authenticity and truth seems to be enormous, so we can see a process of democratization, including a change of the concepts of private and public spheres. Nowadays everybody is entitled to present his or her life in public.(Ulbrich, Jancke and Bosch 2013, p.5). Life writing took place not only in hard copy, but in many different media, like radio, film, tv, blogs, facebook and other new social media. So it seems a good moment to look at the (auto)biographies and memoirs in the political area during the 20th and the beginning of the 21th century.
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