Bound by a Mighty Vow: Sisterhood and Women's Fraternities, 1870-1920

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NYU Press, Jun 21, 2004 - History - 245 pages
4 Reviews

Sororities are often thought of as exclusive clubs for socially inclined college students, but Bound by a Mighty Vow, a history of the women's Greek system, demonstrates that these organizations have always served more serious purposes. Diana Turk explores the founding and development of the earliest sororities (then called women's fraternities) and explains how these groups served as support networks to help the first female collegians succeed in the hostile world of nineteenth century higher education.

Turk goes on to look at how and in what ways sororities changed over time. While the first generation focused primarily on schoolwork, later Greek sisters used their fraternity connections to ensure social status, gain access to jobs and job training, and secure financial and emotional support as they negotiated life in turn-of-the-century America. The costs they paid were conformity to certain tightly prescribed beliefs of how "ideal" fraternity women should act and what "ideal" fraternity women should do.

Drawing on primary source documents written and preserved by the fraternity women themselves, as well as on oral history interviews conducted with fraternity officers and alumnae members, Bound by a Mighty Vow uncovers the intricate history of these early women's networks and makes a bold statement about the ties that have bound millions of American women to one another in the name of sisterhood.

  

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Review: Bound by a Mighty Vow: Sisterhood and Women's Fraternities, 1870-1920

User Review  - Logan - Goodreads

I am very much enjoying this book. A little different, as it it is about a fairly narrow topic, but I am learning a lot!! Read full review

Review: Bound by a Mighty Vow: Sisterhood and Women's Fraternities, 1870-1920

User Review  - Jen - Goodreads

Good book for work Read full review

Contents

Fraternities Past and Historians Present
1
The First Generation of Fraternity Women
13
At Home with the Second Generation of Fraternity Women
43
Expansion and Exclusion in the Womens Greek System
81
Fostering High Ideals in the Face of Antifraternity Sentiment 19101920
113
Fraternity Membership in the Postcollege Years
141
The Costs and Benefits of Fraternity Membership 18701920
157
Notes
165
Bibliography
223
Index
233
About the Author
245
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Diana B. Turk is an assistant professor at the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University.

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