NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED176069
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Apr
Pages: 28
Abstractor: N/A
"Housewifery" in the High School: The Quest for Social Control, 1905-1915.
Weis, Lois
A critical issue at the turn of the century was the women's role in urban America. According to numerous "experts" of that time, the very future of the nation depended upon the successful resolution of this "woman problem." The family was in a state of decline and the falling white Anglo-Saxon Protestant birth rate was considered tantamount to "race suicide." Sociologists, home economists, and educators saw the "science of consumption" as a solution to the "woman problem." However, this inclusion of domestic science into the high school curriculum could be viewed as being linked to a broader movement toward differentiation by race, social class, and gender, as well as to broader fears of "race suicide" and discussions of "woman's place" in the new industrial order. Teaching the principles of home economics could have also been viewed as an attempt at that time to curb labor unrest. If women were taught to run a household "scientifically," man's wages presumably would be sufficient to cover the cost of operating a home. This would reduce tendencies toward demands from labor and ultimately maximize profit for the corporate capitalists. In addition to combatting "race suicide," solving the "woman problem" would allow for the growth of American capitalism. (JH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, California, April 8-12, 1979)