Domestic project

Punish or rehabilitate? Gender, convict labour, and disciplination in the workhouse in the Czech lands (1918-1950)

Provider: The Czech Science Foundation
| Project duration: 2023–2025
| Project ID: GA23-05641S

The project focuses on the institution of the workhouse, which was intended to serve as an additional means of confinement for convicts whose offences were considered to be manifestations of “work-shy” behaviour, as well as to reform them through work. In three research articles and a monograph, we will deal with the role of labour and its forms, forms of surveillance and punishment, the everyday life of male and female convicts, the formation of gender and social norms of the “proper life” and “honest work”, and the role of the workhouse in the creation of new institutions of forced labour in the Czech lands. The combination of looking inside this institution for both men and women and situating it within the broader social, political, economic, and cultural contexts of the time will allow us to capture the dynamics of the political, social, and cultural history of the Czech lands in the first half of the 20th century.


Institute of History, Czech Academy of Sciences