Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Civilization without Sexes: Reconstructing Gender in Postwar France, 1917-1927” as Want to Read:
Civilization without Sexes: Reconstructing Gender in Postwar France, 1917-1927
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Civilization without Sexes: Reconstructing Gender in Postwar France, 1917-1927 (Women in Culture and Society)

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  60 ratings  ·  4 reviews
In the raucous decade following World War I, newly blurred boundaries between male and female created fears among the French that theirs was becoming a civilization without sexes. This new gender confusion became a central metaphor for the War's impact on French culture and led to a marked increase in public debate concerning female identity and woman's proper role. Mary L ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published March 3rd 1994 by University Of Chicago Press (first published January 1st 1994)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Civilization without Sexes, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Civilization without Sexes

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 117)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Billy
In Civilization Without Sexes, Mary Louise Roberts examines a French culture seeking coherence after WWI. The book’s title is taken from a Drieu la Rochelle comment, one in which the blurring of gender “served as a primary referent for the ruin of civilization itself.” (4) In post-war France, changes in gender roles symbolized yet another loss for returning soldiers desperately desiring pre-war normalcy. Robert’s cultural history reveals that women became central to post-war French identity. Fre ...more
John
I enjoyed this...it got me thinking about other times of conflict and the way societies try to deal with drastic changes. Roberts is arguing that post-WWI France became absolutely obsessed with gender categories. This was an attempt to hold on to some kind of ideological continuity in a time when the world seemed to have been radically altered. Roberts looks at all sorts of cultural sources - novels, ads, plays, etc - to show the kinds of ideas that were dominating French society at the time. Sh ...more
T.J.
May 26, 2008 T.J. rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: pretentious grad students, critical thinkers, the angry womyn you know
Brilliant, nuanced read examining the fall out of World War I on French society, and its particular impact on French women. The idea of the traditional French woman was destroyed by the guns of the war, and in its place gender was another site to be reconstructed like the ruined countryside.

Women are divided into three categories--the mother, the single woman, and the modern woman--all of which are problematic, overlapping ideas for a new society struggling to orient itself.

An utterly engaging r
...more
Päivi Brink
Women were given three narrow roles in the 1920s France: mother, lonely woman or modern woman. Well written and interesting research on gender roles after the WW1 in France.
Spencer
Spencer marked it as to-read
Jul 10, 2015
Gretel Carlson
Gretel Carlson marked it as to-read
Jul 09, 2015
Sydney
Sydney marked it as to-read
Jun 26, 2015
Patris
Patris marked it as to-read
May 10, 2015
Meredith
Meredith marked it as to-read
Apr 15, 2015
Kelsey
Kelsey added it
Apr 10, 2015
Steve Spencer
Steve Spencer marked it as to-read
Mar 05, 2015
Joanna
Joanna marked it as to-read
Feb 22, 2015
Alex
Alex added it
Feb 28, 2015
Alasdair Ekpenyong
Alasdair Ekpenyong marked it as to-read
Nov 30, 2014
Jenna
Jenna marked it as to-read
Sep 27, 2014
Killian Beck
Killian Beck marked it as to-read
Aug 23, 2014
Ampersandstone
Ampersandstone marked it as to-read
Feb 27, 2015
Camille Hall
Camille Hall marked it as to-read
Jul 25, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Other Books in the Series

Women in Culture and Society (1 - 10 of 63 books)
  • The Proper Lady and the Woman Writer: Ideology as Style in the Works of Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley, and Jane Austen
  • Rewriting the Renaissance: The Discourses of Sexual Difference in Early Modern Europe
  • Women, History, and Theory: The Essays of Joan Kelly
  • The Crossroads of Class and Gender: Industrial Homework, Subcontracting, and Household Dynamics in Mexico City
  • Family Fortunes: Men and Women of the English Middle Class, 1780-1850
  • The Lady and the Virgin: Image, Attitude, and Experience in Twelfth-Century France
  • Abandoned Women and Poetic Tradition
  • Women Adrift: Independent Wage Earners in Chicago, 1880-1930
  • Uneven Developments: The Ideological Work of Gender in Mid-Victorian England
  • Oglala Women: Myth, Ritual, and Reality
What Soldiers Do: Sex and the American GI in World War II France D-Day Through French Eyes: Normandy 1944 Disruptive Acts: The New Woman in Fin-de-Siecle France The Modern Girl Around the World: Consumption, Modernity, and Globalization Restoring Order: The Ecole Des Chartes and the Organization of Archives and Libraries in France, 1820-1870

Share This Book