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Television - The Housewife's Choice? the 1949 Mass Observation Television Directive, Reluctance and Revision

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>3/07/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Media History
Issue number3
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)342-359
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This article considers the responses of women, many of whom describe themselves as housewives, in the 1949 Mass Observation Television Directive, in order to interrogate some of the broader assumptions around television's relationship with the housewife as key to its success. Against the backcloth of social histories revising ideas about gender, modernity and suburbia in the post-war period, this article considers some of the ways in which initial reluctance towards television was recorded and negotiated. It presents three themes around tensions between home and leisure, the domestication of entertainment and going out, and the appreciation of particular genre, which suggest that the adoption of television as mass entertainment by women might not have been as smooth a process as we have come to understand.