University of Tasmania
whole_BrennanSherylNilma2002_thesis.pdf (23.17 MB)

Island women : an oral history, 1910-1960

Download (23.17 MB)
posted on 2023-05-27, 06:46 authored by Brennan, SN
In this thesis I explore the personal experiences and memories of a group of Furneaux Island women during the period 1910 to 1960. The most important sources I access are the voices of the women who agreed to provide oral evidence. I use their voices to tell a story within a broader island story. Where possible and appropriate, I have supplemented their oral testimony with documentary evidence. Part One provides an historical overview of the early arrival of women and the establishment of households in the islands as well as an analysis of the connections between family history and a sense of place. For many women island history is interwoven with family history. I argue that it is this fact, coupled with multiple island kinship ties, that has led to a powerful sense of identification with the islands - the site of the family narrative. In Part Two I use a chronological format to research the daily lives of island women at different life cycle stages. First, I explore the lives of daughters within the family home, and particularly their relationships with their mothers. This is followed by an examination of influences from outside the home upon girls, and I describe how young women move away from the family to set up their own households. In Part Three I change from a chronological approach to one that analyses, topically, the physical and emotional responsibilities of adult women within the home and the wider island community. It is from this examination of women's lives at different stages and in different settings that the primary concerns of the thesis - feelings of isolation and a sense of place - emerge. It is in the remembering of everyday life that the effects of isolation and a sense of place become most apparent.. On a broad level I argue that physical and emotional isolation have several results. These include, a close and mutual dependence among women within the family, the development of an extensive community social life and, ultimately, active efforts to overcome the potential for cultural isolation


Publication status

  • Unpublished

Rights statement

Copyright 2002 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (Ph.D)--University of Tasmania, 2002. Includes bibliographical references

Repository Status

  • Open

Usage metrics

    Thesis collection


    No categories selected


    Ref. manager