Files in this item



application/pdf3130983.pdf (20MB)Restricted to U of Illinois
(no description provided)PDF


Title:In the Name of the Home: Women, Domestic Science, and American Higher Education, 1865--1930
Author(s):Miller, Elisa
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Pleck, Elizabeth H.
Department / Program:History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Home Economics
Abstract:This dissertation examines the development of domestic science as an academic field for American women at the turn of the century. In this period, domestic science transcended the private sphere and emerged as an ideology of political and public domesticity in response to the anxieties engendered by the massive transformations of the Progressive Era. The field became a way to contain or moderate the processes of modernity, including immigration, urbanization, and industrialization. In this context, domestic science was viewed as a solution to a wide range of social problems, from racial tensions and labor strife to "race suicide" and the decline in rural populations. These social problems centered on issues of race, class, ethnicity, and region. I examined four educational institutions to explore the influence of these variables on the history of domestic science. These schools included Hampton Institute, Teachers College, the University of Illinois and Vassar College. These institutions reveal how race, region, ethnicity, and class shaped the formation of the field and created disparate sets of obstacles and opportunities for American women. For white, middle-class women domestic science emphasized the value of modernization and science to progress. In contrast, for Native American, African American, white, working-class, and immigrant women, domestic science centered around Christianity, civilization, citizenship, and domestic service. My research included archival sources produced by and about women, including educators, students, alumnae, and reform clients. Domestic science in this period was wrought with contradictions, with women pursuing disparate, and often incompatible, objectives. These women employed a variety of tactics in order to establish, resist, and reconfigure the ideology and practice of domestic science. Although some women viewed domestic science as a form of social control, for others it provided a feminized sphere in which to pursue career, family, and reform goals.
Issue Date:2004
Description:331 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2004.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3130983
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2004

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Item Statistics