Social Mobility and Woman vs. Lady in Victorian Soceity

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Social Mobility and Woman vs. Lady in Victorian Soceity The transformation of English society during the Victorian era brought with it numerous industrial, cultural, as well as social changes. The overwhelming influx of population from rural to urban areas and the various new job opportunities created by factories and London?s sudden shift to industrialism affected not only the public, but also the personal lives of its residents. A new class system had begun to form, beginning with the emergence of a new middle class. Women were especially affected by this, because as they were expected to live off of their husbands and thrive solely on society and their own families, it became increasingly important to marry well and remain in high social standing. Social Mobility: An Impossible Goal? But while social mobility seems ingenius in theory, it was a lot less simple in practice. The class system had become surprisingly rigid in a very short period of time, and the hierarchy was often determined by economic status and occupation. The very upper classes were Royalty, and had only one recognized member - the Queen Victoria herself. Nobility, aristocracy, and the gentry all followed in respective order. The new middle class allowed a variety of occupations, ranging from lawyers, clergy and physicians, all the way to engineers and schoolteachers on the lower rung. The lesser half of the middle class were hoteliers and housekeepers, schoolmistresses and governesses. Members of the lower class was factory workers and seamstresses, and the underclass consisted of the poor. Each class was clearly defined with unofficially enforced boundaries, and members of the system knew their place. A Woman?s Place Women in Victorian society were... ... middle of paper ... ...y, ladies are taught to behave that way from birth. Further Links A Maid?s Life: http://www.victorianweb.org/history/work/maids1.html Wages: http://www.learningcurve.gov.uk/victorianbritain/divided/source8.htm Woman Entertaining: http://www.fashion-era.com/images/Paintings/airsx30x450.jpg Beeton?s Book Of Household Management: http://www.fashion-era.com/images/Victorians/beeton.jpg Women in Carriage: http://www.fashion-era.com/images/Victorians/1868carr621x20.jpg Works Cited Abrams, Lynn. "Ideals of Womanhood in Victorian Britain." The Victorian Web. January 2001. Lerner, Laurence. The Victorians. New York: Homes and Meier, 1978. Margetson, Stella. Victorian High Society. New York: Holmes and Meier Publishers Inc. 1980. The Victorian Web. 2000. 15 March 2005.
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