Chapter

Support for Women's Domestic Economy in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries

Susan Thistle

in From Marriage to the Market

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2006 | ISBN: 9780520245907
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520939196 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520245907.003.0002
Support for Women's Domestic Economy in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries

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This chapter examines the influence of gender and economic development on women's work and family life, and the ways in which these two areas interact. Anchoring gender in women's work, this chapter directs attention beyond a set of domestic tasks themselves to how such work was organized and supported, and how such support may have changed over time. It demonstrates how the central issue for women was thus how to defend space for these domestic tasks against new claims on their time, and the severe costs when such efforts failed. While white women largely succeeded in such efforts, it notes that the experience of African American women shows in cruel form, an alternative relationship between home and market. It clarifies that the gender division of labor was sustained in various ways through the first half of the twentieth century, though in a form imposing great burdens on African American women.

Keywords: gender; economic development; women; family life; domestic tasks; African American women; twentieth century

Chapter.  9207 words. 

Subjects: Marriage and the Family

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