Story: Housing

Separate spheres

For most of the 20th century the stay-at-home mother was an emblem of the 'separate spheres' ideal. While many mothers were happy with their lot, by the 1960s a growing number were not. This was particularly true in new suburbs on city fringes, which often lacked the social amenities and diversity of older communities. Some women found mothering a burden and felt trapped in their homes – a condition sometimes called suburban neurosis. In this 1971 film clip a young Wellington mother expresses a longing for adult company and the stimulation of paid work.

Using this item

Archives New Zealand - Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga
Reference: Notes on a New Zealand city. National Film Unit, 1971

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Ben Schrader, 'Housing - Ideas about housing', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 27 June 2022)

Story by Ben Schrader, published 5 Sep 2013