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Modern women, modern work : domesticity, professionalism, and American writing, 1890-1950 / Francesca Sawaya.

By: Sawaya, Francesca.
Material type: TextTextSeries: JSTOR eBooks.Rethinking the Americas: Publisher: Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, ©2004Description: 1 online resource (198 pages).Content type: text Media type: computer Carrier type: online resourceISBN: 9780812203264 (electronic bk.); 0812203267 (electronic bk.).Subject(s): American literature -- Women authors -- History and criticism | Women and literature -- United States -- History -- 20th century | Women -- Employment -- United States -- History -- 20th century | American literature -- 20th century -- History and criticism | Authorship -- Sex differences -- History -- 20th century | Women authors, American -- Biography | Women in literatureAdditional physical formats: Print version:: Modern women, modern work.DDC classification: 810.9/9287/0904 LOC classification: PS151 | .S38 2004Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
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Electronic Book UT Tyler Online
PS151 .S38 2004 (Browse shelf) Available ocn859160901

Includes bibliographical references (pages 181-191) and index.

Reviews provided by Syndetics


This stimulating study focuses on ways in which women who understood themselves as "professionals" in the years between the final decades of the 19th century and the 1940s used the values of their feminine "past"--sometimes identified as "the cult of domesticity"--to highlight and criticize contradictions in modern professionalism. Sawaya (Univ. of Oklahoma) pairs literary and nonliterary figures, highlighting Sarah Orne Jewett and Jane Addams, who "combined ideas about domesticity with ideas about educated expertise to create a new kind of professional social authority"; Willa Cather and Ida Tarbell, who tried "to stabilize the binaries of primitive past-civilized present, domesticity-professionalism in order to guard expertise from its own contradictions"; and Ruth Benedict and Zora Neale Hurston, who "questioned the history and significance of domestic as well as professional ideology using each ideology to criticize the other," thus changing the meaning of professional work. Sawaya notes that the ambivalence "most feminists" feel about professionalism, in combination with disjunctions within the definition of professionalism, suggests the need to seek better models of work for the future. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Graduate and research collections. J. J. Benardete New School University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Francesca J. Sawaya teaches English at the University of Oklahoma.

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