Bringing Businesswomen to a Count: A Transnational Methodological Experiment Researching Nineteenth-Century Businesswomen

Bishop, Catherine, Aston, Jennifer and van Lieshout, Carry (2021) Bringing Businesswomen to a Count: A Transnational Methodological Experiment Researching Nineteenth-Century Businesswomen. Australian Historical Studies, 52 (2). pp. 227-246. ISSN 1031-461X

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/1031461x.2020.1833950

Abstract

This article is part of an innovative experiment to explore the influence of methodologies on the drawing of historical conclusions. Two historians researching nineteenth-century businesswomen in different places compared results. One found a preponderance of widows in business in late nineteenth-century Leeds, estimating 10 per cent of businesses were run by women. The other estimated 15–20 per cent of businesses in Sydney were run by women in the mid-nineteenth century, most by wives. Each used slightly different methods, based around trade directories. Simultaneously, a third historian’s big-data analysis of the British census revealed further nuances. This article analyses the strengths and weaknesses of these methods to determine if the differences between places are real or constructed. It explores the relationship between local quantitative data and micro historical studies and how these can contribute to an international story of female economic activity.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This research was assisted by the Australian Research Council [grant number DE190100423], the Research Councils UK (Economic and Social Research Council) [grant number ES/M010953] and the Leverhulme Trust [grant number RG66385].
Subjects: T800 Australasian studies
T900 Others in Eastern, Asiatic, African, American and Australasian Languages, Literature and related subjects
V200 History by area
V300 History by topic
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Humanities
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 19 May 2021 11:06
Last Modified: 19 May 2021 12:49
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/46216

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