Not June Cleaver: Women and Gender in the Postwar America, 1945-1960 / Edition 1

Not June Cleaver: Women and Gender in the Postwar America, 1945-1960 / Edition 1

by June Meyerowitz
     
 

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.

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Overview

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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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781566391719
Publisher:
Temple University Press
Publication date:
05/28/1994
Series:
Critical Perspectives on the past Series
Pages:
424
Sales rank:
677,225
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

1Introduction: Women and Gender in Postwar America, 1945-19601
2When Women Arrived: The Transformation of New York's Chinatown19
3An "Obligation to Participate": Married Nurses' Labor Force Participation in the 1950s37
4Recapturing Working-Class Feminism: Union Women in the Postwar Era57
5Women's Employment and the Domestic Ideal in the Early Cold War Years84
6Gender and Progressive Politics: A Bridge to Social Activism of the 1960s103
7Mayhem and Moderation: Women Peace Activists during the McCarthy Era128
8"Is Family Devotion Now Subversive?": Familialism against McCarthyism151
9Gender and Civic Activism in Mexican American Barrios in California: The Community Service Organization, 1947-1962177
10"Our Skirts Gave Them Courage": The Civil Defense Protest Movement in New York City, 1955-1961201
11Beyond the Feminine Mystique: A Reassessment of Postwar Mass Culture, 1946-1958229
12"I Wanted the Whole World to See": Race, Gender, and Constructions of Motherhood in the Death of Emmett Till263
13White Neurosis, Black Pathology: Constructing Out-of-Wedlock Pregnancy in the Wartime and Postwar United States304
14Extreme Danger: Women Abortionists and Their Clients before Roe v. Wade335
15The Sexualized Woman: The Lesbian, the Prostitute, and the Containment of Female Sexuality in Postwar America358
16The "Other" Fifties: Beats and Bad Girls382
About the Contributors409
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