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date: 25 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Total war had a specific gendered meaning in the First World War in that it required the participation of men, women, and children in the maintenance of gendered notions of warriors, nurturers, workers, and patriots. Yet each of these ideals was also questioned and destabilized by war. Much of the work of war rests on families, who are expected to maintain households, livelihoods, and emotional ties with men far from their homes. As actors in the world’s first ‘total war’, women and men in Europe witnessed a multi-year conflict that changed their relationships to states in profound ways and reshaped assumptions about generation, family roles, and sexuality, beginning a transformation that would continue in the Second World War. While scholars have disagreed about the extent and nature of total war, few dispute that a fundamental restructuring of citizens’ lives and relationships occurred as a result of the First World War.

Keywords: family, gender, religion, social class, marriage, work

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