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A sketch of the expansion of upper and middle-class women's sources of power and identity - traditionally restricted to the home and Society (or its functional equivalent among other social strata) - focuses on aspects of this process such as the decline of chaperonage and the development of codes of behaviour in new situations: public transport, public dances, dates, the work place, etc.
From the late nineteenth century onward, chaperonage was declining in popularity, and this aspect of diminishing social segregation was often discussed in etiquette books.
Cafes, the growth of tea rooms, the use of buses, even the provision of public lavatories for women, were as important in freeing middle-class women from strict social ritual as the slow erosion of chaperonage.
8) By the inter-war period, "the reduced scale of living for most of the middle class, the decline of chaperonage and new freedom for girls, meant that even the 'career' sequence of schoolgirl, deb (or provincial variant), daughter-at-home, matron and dowager wielding power in the social/political world, had ceased to have much cogency .
He claims that the "informalization" of manners from 1890-2000, evidenced by the change from chaperonage to dating systems of courting, led to the emancipation of women in all four countries under study (2).
Wouters examines the informalization of manners by describing the transition, which occurred toward the beginning of the twentieth century in all four countries under study, from a chaperonage system of courting to that which became known as dating.