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ERIC Number: EJ1129653
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0046-760X
Domesticating Physics: Introductory Physics Textbooks for Women in Home Economics in the United States, 1914-1955
Behrman, Joanna
History of Education, v46 n2 p193-209 2017
Technologies such as electrical appliances entered American households on a large scale only after many decades of promotion to the public. The genre of "household physics" textbooks was one such form of promotion that was directed towards assumed white, female and largely middle-class home economics students. Published from the 1910s to the 1950s in the United States, the textbooks instructed future housewives and home economics professionals in the use of technology through an introductory physics education, and at the same time modelled an appropriately circumscribed relationship between female students and new technologies. Household physics textbooks also acted as moral tools, encouraging a certain aesthetic of progress in which model housewives confidently purchased and operated new household devices. By learning physics, the students learned to acquire and use appliances in a safer and more "scientific" way, thus ameliorating fear of the technology, while not overstepping roles bounded by class and gender.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A