pearl jephcott, bermondsey and married women working

picture: pearl jephcottPearl Jephcott (1900-1980) was a talented social researcher and organizer. For nearly twenty years she helped to develop and sustain girls' and mixed clubs. Alongside this work Jephcott also began researching and writing about the lives and experiences of young people. Unlike many other researchers she placed an emphasis on exploring the experiences and circumstances of 'ordinary' young people. Her research broaden out to studies of particular neighbourhoods and social phenomenon. She was the first person to research and write at length about the experiences of people living in tower blocks; undertook an important study of Notting Hill following the 'race riots' of 1958; undertook a major study of married women working. This last study this brought her to live in Bermondsey by Cherry Gardens pier.

Married Women Working (Jephcott with Sears and Smith 1962) throws considerable light on the experiences and situations facing women and was published at a time when there was often ill-informed, debate around the subject. However, one of the most engaging features of the book is the way in which Pearl Jephcott was able to get inside the lives of local people in Bermondsey and to present their experiences truthfully. She drew upon the experiences of her neighbours - and was able to mix this with data gained from more formal interviews and research in a local large factory - Peek Freans. The result was an insightful picture of the processes of 'home-making', working and raising children.  

link: Pearl Jephcott and the lives of ordinary people
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