Domestic Service, Migration and the Social Status of Women at Marriage: The Case of a Dutch Sea Province, Zeeland 1820-1935

Hilde Bras*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Some scholars have seen female domestic
service as a ‘bridging occupation’, facilitating the
migration of women from the countryside to the cities and enabling them to make advantageous marriages and become upwardly socially mobile. However, previous research has yielded contradictory results with regard to the marriages of female servants.
On the basis of 1800 marriage records, in this article
it has been estimated how Social background, occupation and migration determined the Status at marriage of women in the province of Zeeland the Netherlands. in the period 1820-1935, When holding
everything equal, just exercising the occupation of
domestic Service didn’t result in marriages with men
of higher social positions as could be expected given
the Status of the job. However, living in a city by the
time of one’s marriage, did indeed offer women
greater chances on a high status marriage
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-19
Number of pages17
JournalHistorical Social Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

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