Not June Cleaver: Women and Gender in Postwar America, 1945-1960

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Temple University Press, 1994 - History - 411 pages

In the popular stereotype of post-World War II America, women abandoned their wartime jobs and contentedly retreated to the home. These mythical women were like the 1950s TV character June Cleaver, white, middle-class, suburban housewives. Not June Cleaver unveils the diversity of postwar women, showing how far women departed form this one-dimensional image.

This collection of fifteen revisionist essays charts new directions in American women's history and provides connections to scholarship that, until recently, has focused primarily on the years before 1945 and after 1960. The contributors explore the work and activism of postwar American women and also point to the contradictions and ambiguities in postwar concepts of gender.

Including examinations of such aspects of postwar women's history as the arrival of Chinese women immigrants in New York City; women's changing presence in the labor force and in union organization; and the precarious lives of women abortionists, lesbians, and single mothers, the authors effectively demonstrate how postwar women's identities were not only an expression of their gender but also of their class, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, occupation, and politics.

 

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User Review  - mdobe - LibraryThing

This volume makes no attempt to provide a comprehensive history. It aims instead to showcase new directions in postwar women's history, to subvert the persistent stereotype of domestic, quiescent ... Read full review

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I thought it was great good job :)

Contents

Introduction
1
WOMEN AND WAGE LABOR
17
An Obligation to Participate
37
Recapturing WorkingClass Feminism
57
Womens Employment and the Domestic Ideal
84
ACTIVIST WOMEN AND THEIR ORGANIZATIONS
101
Mayhem and Moderation
128
Is Family Devotion Now Subversive?
151
Our Skirts Gave Them Courage
201
CONSTRUCTIONS OF WOMANHOOD
227
Race Gender and Constructions of Motherhood in the Death
263
White Neurosis Black Pathology
304
Extreme Danger
335
The Sexualized Woman
358
The Other Fifties
382
ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS
409

in California
177

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