Women and Marginality
Women as consumers in the agrarian modernization process in the latter half of the nineteenth century
The central theme of my article is summed up in the terms 'domestic pilfering' and 'domestic pilferer' (kotivarkaus, kotivaras). In brief, they refer to such indirect action that the members of the household under the patriarchal power control of the master of the family in rural society might be compelled to take in order to obtain personally usable funds without the knowledge of the latter. The term domestic pilferer was used as late as in the 1950's in the Finnish research literature pertaining to women and female characteristics as managers of domestic duties. For this reason, it has been my aim to look behind that negative image produced in contemporary social discussion during the end of the 19th century. This naming apparently was aimed at localizing the position of the woman in the modernizing entity of the household. It is to be asked what the aim of this naming was and how people were acting in the everyday life of the household.