High unemployment rates, humiliating relief policy, and the spectre of eviction characterized the experiences of many Ontario families in the Great Depression. Respectable Citizens is an examination of the material difficulties and survival strategies of families facing poverty and unemployment, and an analysis of how collective action and protest redefined the meanings of welfare and citizenship in the 1930s. Lara Campbell draws on diverse sources including newspapers, family and juvenile court records, premiers' papers, memoirs, and oral histories to uncover the ways in which the material workings of the family and the discursive category of 'respectable' citizenship were invested with gendered obligations and Anglo-British identity. Respectable Citizens demonstrates how women and men represented themselves as entitled to make specific claims on the state, shedding new light on the cooperative and conflicting relationships between men and women, parents and children, and citizen and state in 1930s Canada.
Lara Campbell is an associate professor in the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies at Simon Fraser University.
Acknowledgments Introduction Chapter One: 'Giving all the good in me to save my children': Domestic Labour, Motherhood, and 'Making Do' in Ontario Families Chapter Two: 'If he is a man he becomes desperate': Unemployed Husbands, Fathers, and Workers Chapter Three: The Obligations of Family: Parents, Children's Labour, and Youth Culture Chapter Four: 'A Family's Self-Respect and Morale': Negotiating Respectability and Conflict in Home and Family Chapter Five: Militant Mothers and Loving Fathers: Gender, Family, and Ethnicity in Protest Conclusion: Survival, Citizenship, and State Endnotes Bibliography