Women in the Shadow War: Gender, Class and MI5 in the Second World War

Rosemary Toy, Christopher Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

During the Second World War, the women employed in Britain's secret Security Service (MI5) far outnumbered their male colleagues. Their numbers grew rapidly over the course of the war and by 1941 stood at over 800. Despite the vast influx of female labour into the agency, attitudes towards the role of women in intelligence, be it as wartime workers or as secret agents, demonstrated remarkable continuity with those of the interwar period. Similarly, internal attitudes regarding those traits which produced the best agents and intelligence officers, highly informed by understandings of both masculinity and social status, demonstrated considerable resilience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)688-706
Number of pages19
JournalWomen's History Review
Volume27
Issue number5
Early online date6 Jul 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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World War
gender
masculinity
resilience
social status
intelligence
continuity
labor
worker
Second World War
Resilience
Masculinity
Interwar Period
Wartime
Continuity
Social Status
Workers
Female Labor
Secret Agent

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Women’s History Review on 06/07/2017, available
online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/09612025.2017.1345714

Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.

Cite this

Women in the Shadow War : Gender, Class and MI5 in the Second World War. / Toy, Rosemary; Smith, Christopher.

In: Women's History Review, Vol. 27, No. 5, 2018, p. 688-706.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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