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Servants of Culture: Paternalism, Policing, and Identity Politics in Vienna, 1700-1914

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Volume 34

Austrian and Habsburg Studies

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Servants of Culture

Paternalism, Policing, and Identity Politics in Vienna, 1700-1914

Ambika Natarajan

366 pages, 8 figures, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-80073-993-2 $145.00/£107.00 / Hb / Not Yet Published (May 2023)

eISBN 978-1-80073-994-9 eBook Not Yet Published

View CartYour country: - edit  Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


In nineteenth century Cisleithanian Austria, poor, working-class women underwent mass migrations from the countryside to urban centers for menial or unskilled labor jobs. Through legal provisions on women’s work in the Habsburg Empire, there was an increase in the policing and surveillance of what was previously a gender-neutral career, turning it into one dominated by thousands of female rural migrants. Servants of Culture provides an account of Habsburg servant law since the eighteenth century and uncovers the paternalistic and maternalistic assumptions and anxieties which turned the interest of socio-political players in improving poor living and working conditions into practices that created restrictive gender and class hierarchies. Through pioneering analysis of the agendas of medical experts, police, socialists, feminists, legal reformers, and even serial killers, this volume puts forth a neglected history of the state of domestic service discourse at the turn of the 19th century and how it shaped and continues to shape the surveillance of women.

Ambika Natarajan is a Research Associate at the University of Mumbai-Department of Atomic Energy Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences, Mumbai, India. She has a PhD in history of science from Oregon State University and graduate degrees in biotechnology and English. She has taught courses in the history and philosophy of science, ethics, American religious history, and bio-statistics internationally.

Subject: History: 18th/19th CenturyRefugee and Migration StudiesGender Studies and Sexuality
Area: Central/Eastern Europe


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