The Grand Domestic Revolution: A History of Feminist Designs for American Homes, Neighborhoods, and Cities

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MIT Press, 1982 - Social Science - 367 pages
8 Reviews

Long before Betty Friedan wrote about "the problem that had no name" in The Feminine Mystique, a group of American feminists whose leaders included Melusina Fay Peirce, Mary Livermore, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman campaigned against women's isolation in the home and confinement to domestic life as the basic cause of their unequal position in society.The Grand Domestic Revolution reveals the innovative plans and visionary strategies of these persistent women, who developed the theory and practice of what Hayden calls "material feminism" in pursuit of economic independence and social equality. The material feminists' ambitious goals of socialized housework and child care meant revolutionizing the American home and creating community services. They raised fundamental questions about the relationship of men, women, and children in industrial society. Hayden analyzes the utopian and pragmatic sources of the feminists' programs for domestic reorganization and the conflicts over class, race, and gender they encountered.This history of a little-known intellectual tradition challenging patriarchal notions of "women's place" and "women's work" offers a new interpretation of the history of American feminism and a new interpretation of the history of American housing and urban design. Hayden shows how the material feminists' political ideology led them to design physical space to create housewives' cooperatives, kitchenless houses, day-care centers, public kitchens, and community dining halls. In their insistence that women be paid for domestic labor, the material feminists won the support of many suffragists and of novelists such as Edward Bellamy and William Dean Howells, who helped popularize their cause. Ebenezer Howard, Rudolph Schindler, and Lewis Mumford were among the many progressive architects and planners who promoted the reorganization of housing and neighborhoods around the needs of employed women.In reevaluating these early feminist plans for the environmental and economic transformation of American society and in recording the vigorous and many-sided arguments that evolved around the issues they raised, Hayden brings to light basic economic and spacial contradictions which outdated forms of housing and inadequate community services still create for American women and for their families.

  

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Review: The Grand Domestic Revolution: A History of Feminist Designs for American Homes, Neighborhoods, and Cities

User Review  - Emily - Goodreads

THE MATERIAL FEMINISTS! "Would acceptance of men as potential domestic workers and recovery of the spatial critique of the home be a sufficient basis for a renewed campaign to create home-like ... Read full review

Review: The Grand Domestic Revolution: A History of Feminist Designs for American Homes, Neighborhoods, and Cities

User Review  - Nansi - Goodreads

Groundbreaking but it leaves out a lot of the cultural history.... maybe purposefully?? Read full review

Contents

I
46
54
88
90
120
13
138
Public Kitchens Feminist Politics
151
Charlotte Perkins Gilman
171
Domestic Evolution Appendix
183
182
209
114
324
Founded 18851907
352
12
358
Copyright

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References to this book

Spatial Formations
Nigel Thrift
No preview available - 1996
The Economics of Gender
Joyce Jacobsen
No preview available - 2007
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About the author (1982)

Dolores Hayden, professor of architecture and American studies at Yale, writes about the politics of design.

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