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Ann Oakley (born 1944) is a distinguished British sociologist, feminist, and writer. She is Professor and Founder-Director of the Social Science Research Unit at the Institute of Education, University of London and in 2005 partially retired from full-time academic work to concentrate on her writing and especially new novels. Oakley is the only daughter of Professor Richard Titmuss and wrote a biography of her parents as well as editing some of his works for recent re-publication. Her mother Kathleen, née Miller, was a social worker.

She was educated at Somerville College, Oxford University taking her BA in 1965, having married fellow future academic Robin Oakley the previous year. In the next few years Oakley wrote scripts for children's television and wrote numerous short stories and had two novels rejected by publishers. Returning to formal education at Bedford College, University of London, she gained a PhD in 1969; the qualification was a study of women's attitudes to housework, from which several of her early books were ultimately derived. Much of her sociological research focused on medical sociology and women's health. She has also made important contributions to debates about sociological research methods.

Ann Oakley has written numerous academic works, many focusing on the lives and roles of women in society as well as several best-selling novels, of which the best-known is probably The Men's Room, which was adapted by Laura Lamson for BBC television in 1991, and which starred Harriet Walter and Bill Nighy. She has also written an early partial autobiography. She divides her life between living in London and in a rural house where she does most of her fiction writing. She is a mother and grandmother.





  • (1972) Sex, Gender and Society. London: Temple Smith. Reprinted with new Introduction, London: Gower, 1985.
  • (1974) Housewife. London: Allen Lane.
  • (1974) The Sociology of Housework. London: Martin Robertson. Reprinted with new Introduction. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1985 (also translated into German, Dutch and Japanese).
  • (1976) Woman's Work: The Housewife, Past and Present. New York: Random House. (Re-titled version of Housewife - 1974)
  • (1979) Becoming a Mother. Oxford: Martin Robertson. (Under the title From Here to Maternity. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1981. Reprinted with new Introduction, 1986.)
  • (1980) Women Confined: Towards a sociology of childbirth. Oxford: Martin Robertson.
  • (1981) Subject Women. Oxford: Martin Robertson.
  • (1984) The Captured Womb: A history of the medical care of pregnant women. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
  • (1984) Taking it Like a Woman. London: Jonathan Cape. (Paperback published Fontana 1985; also published by Random House, New York).
  • (1986) Telling the Truth about Jerusalem: Selected essays. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
  • (1986) The rights and Wrongs of women (Selected essays edited with Juliet Mitchell).
  • (1986) What is Feminism? (Selected essays edited with Juliet Mitchell).
  • (1992) Social Support and Motherhood: The natural history of a research project. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
  • (1993) Essays on Women, Medicine and Health. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
  • (1996) Man and Wife: Richard and Kay Titmuss, my parents' early years. London: HarperCollins.
  • (1997) Who's Afraid of Feminism? London: Hamish Hamilton. (New York: The New Press.) (edited with Juliet Mitchell).
  • (1997) The Gift Relationship: From human blood to social policy. By Richard M Titmuss. London: LSE Books. (New York: The New Press.) (edited with John Ashton).
  • (2000) Experiments in Knowing: Gender and method in the social sciences. Cambridge: Polity Press. (New York: The New Press.)
  • (2001) Welfare & Wellbeing: Richard Titmuss's contribution to Social Policy, (edited with Peter Alcock, Howard Glennerster & Adrian Sinfield), Bristol: Policy Press.
  • (2002) Gender on Planet Earth. Cambridge: Polity Press (New York: The New Press, 2003).
  • (2004) Private Complaints & Public Health: Richard Titmuss on the National Health Service, (edited, with Jonathan Barker), Bristol: Policy Press.
  • (2007) Fracture: Adventures of a broken body, Bristol: Policy Press.


  • (1989) The Men’s Room. London: Virago. (HarperCollins paperback 1989; New York: Atheneum, 1989.) (televised)
  • (1990) (under the nom de plume Rosamund Clay) Only Angels Forget. London: Virago.
  • (1991) Matilda’s Mistake. London: Virago (HarperCollins paperback, 1991).
  • (1992) The Secret Lives of Eleanor Jenkinson. London: HarperCollins.
  • (1993) Scenes Originating in the Garden of Eden. London: HarperCollins.
  • (1995) Where the bee sucks, in: (eds) Jones RG, Williams AS. The Penguin Book of Erotic Stories by Women. London: Penguin Books, pp.384-397.
  • (1995) Death in the egg, in: (eds) Williams AS, Jones RG. The Penguin Book of Modern Fantasy by Women. London: Penguin Books, pp.525-532.
  • (1996) A Proper Holiday. London: HarperCollins.
  • (1999) Overheads. London: HarperCollins.


  • Blain, Virginia; Patricia Clements, and Isobel Grundy (eds.) (1990). The Feminist Companion to Literature in English: Women Writers from the Middle Ages to the Present. London: Batsford. ISBN 0-7134-5848-8. 
  • Tuttle, Lisa (1986). Encyclopedia of Feminism. Harlow: Longman. ISBN 0-582-89346-1. 

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