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Cultural Fields of the Canterbury Plains: Women and Cultural Citizenship in Canterbury c.1890-1940

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dc.contributor.author Gush, Nadia Joanne
dc.date.accessioned 2008-07-30T02:20:31Z
dc.date.accessioned 2022-10-25T06:28:56Z
dc.date.available 2008-07-30T02:20:31Z
dc.date.available 2022-10-25T06:28:56Z
dc.date.copyright 2007
dc.date.issued 2007
dc.identifier.uri https://ir.wgtn.ac.nz/handle/123456789/23427
dc.description.abstract Drawing on the historiography of imperial and national women's citizenships, the citizenship debates of social scientists and the structural analysis of cultural production developed by Pierre Bourdieu, this thesis creates a history of women's cultural citizenship in Canterbury, New Zealand, for the period 1890-1940. The discussion focuses on a range of voluntary organizations that either by circumstance or by design, engaged in debates circulating the identity, purpose and potential, of the cultural citizen in Canterbury. The citizenship at the heart of such debates hinged on the enactment of cultural authority within what Bourdieu has termed fields of cultural production. Increasingly over the period such citizenship also manifested as a community-oriented responsibility that premised 'good citizenship' on subjected democratic cultural productivity. The debates surrounding cultural citizenship for the period were often influenced by the cultural ideals espoused by Victorian intellectual John Ruskin, or his follower, arts and crafts advocate William Morris. In describing art and cultural production within a social, political, economic and to some extent national and imperial nexus, these men were in effect politicizing the fine arts and cultural production. In turn they deconstructed the obscured hierarchies within cultural production that supported Victorian capitalism and class warfare. This thesis explores the legacy of such thought and its implications for the gender of cultural citizenship. It does this through exploring a range of women's and cultural organizations active in the Canterbury region for part or all of the period 1890-1940: the Canterbury Women's Institute, the early National Council of Women, the Canterbury Mothers' Union, rural Women's Institutes and Women's Division of the Farmers' Union, the Girl Guides, Girl Peace Scouts, Young Women's Christian Association, as well as the Canterbury Society of Arts, Christchurch Beautifying Association, The Group, and the little known Society for Imperial Culture. In following the ways in which these organizations interacted with debates pertinent to authoritative participation in cultural fields, the thesis explores citizenships enacted variously through fields of literature, costume, film, craft, drama, suburban gardening, and painting. By exploring the politics surrounding the material and symbolic production of cultural artifacts, and by broadening the historiographical vocabulary of women's citizenships for the suffrage and inter-war periods by introducing culture, the thesis contributes to both women's and cultural history. Centering the politics of cultural production and citizenship premised on cultural productivity uncovers the cultural aspect of the early women's movement in New Zealand. It also brings to light changes to cultural production in the later 1920s that affected women's ability to participate authoritatively in the fine arts and to contribute culturally as good citizens. What we find is that groups of women were consistently interested in being able to participate authoritatively in fields of cultural production. We also find that for those women, cultural citizenship could be positioned alongside maternal and imperial citizenships as well as being affected by changes in the structure of cultural fields. For women especially, cultural citizenships could be precarious and negotiable. en_NZ
dc.language en_NZ
dc.language.iso en_NZ
dc.publisher Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
dc.subject Citizenship en_NZ
dc.subject Gender identity en_NZ
dc.subject New Zealand en_NZ
dc.subject Canterbury en_NZ
dc.subject Women en_NZ
dc.subject Social conditions en_NZ
dc.subject Identity en_NZ
dc.subject 19th century en_NZ
dc.subject 20th century en_NZ
dc.subject Cultural Aspects en_NZ
dc.title Cultural Fields of the Canterbury Plains: Women and Cultural Citizenship in Canterbury c.1890-1940 en_NZ
dc.type Text en_NZ
vuwschema.type.vuw Awarded Doctoral Thesis en_NZ
thesis.degree.discipline History en_NZ
thesis.degree.grantor Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
thesis.degree.level Doctoral en_NZ
thesis.degree.name Doctor of Philosophy en_NZ

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