Poor Men in the Land of Promises: Settler Masculinity and the Male Breadwinner Economy in Late Nineteenth-Century New Zealand
Married men and breadwinning were mutually implicit in Pakeha narratives of masculinity in nineteenth-century New Zealand. This article explores the idea that an implicit but important promise held out to immigrants from the mid-century was the promise of sole male breadwinning, and that this promise was so central to gender relations in the colonial economy that when it was defaulted on at the century's end, many men's failure to maintain sole breadwinning was understood to mark their failure as men. The economic and cultural organisation of masculinity around breadwinning had important implications for the lives of failing men and their families in the Long Depression of the late nineteenth century, and these implications can be traced in the records of failure: welfare records, court records, and suicide inquests.
Publisher: University of Melbourne
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Keywords: New Zealand history; masculinity; breadwinner; economy; poverty
Research Type: Journal Article
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