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College of Human Ecology

Cornell University

Annotated Bibliography

Brumberg, Joan Jacobs and Nancy Tomes. Women In The Professions: A Research Agenda For American Historians. Reviews in American History. 10 (1982) 275 - 296.

Olin Library - call number E171.R45.

This article examines how historical writing before l982 handled the issue of women in the professions both male-dominated ones (such as medicine, law, and the academy) and also the feminized service professions (such as teaching, nursing, social work, librarianship). Tomes and Brumberg note that while historians have written extensively on upper class and working class women during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, they have shied away from the complexities of the middle-class female professional. The authors argue that due to the constraints family and society placed on women until very recently, the professionalization process was different for women than for men. They suggest alternative standards by which to assess women in the professions, and they suggest that home economics fits the model of the feminized service professions. This is an excellent introductory article for anyone who wishes to gain an understanding of issues that guided the research for this exhibit. It has stimulated a great deal of historical work on American women in the professions since its publication twenty years ago.

Nerad, Maresi. The Academic Kitchen: A Social History of Gender Stratification at the University of California, Berkeley. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1987.

ILR Library (in Ives Hall) - call number TX285.U52 N47x 1999.

Nerad traces the development of home economics at another land-grant institution, the University of California at Berkeley. She uses the story of Agnes Fay Morgan and other Berkeley women faculty to argue that home economics faculty were accorded second-class status within the larger university. Nerad points out that the few women who did earn Ph.D.s in the hard sciences could not find employment in their disciplines, so they were pushed into departments of home economics. Many embraced home economics, however, as the best way to cope with the male-dominated university environment that excluded them from positions of power and authority. Nerads discussion of the second-class status of home economics points to the problems home economists had in establishing their professional identity.

Rose, Flora. A Growing College: Home Economics at Cornell University/New York State College of Human Ecology. Ithaca: New York State College of Human Ecology, 1969.

Mann Library - call number TX285.N56 R796.

Rose's book is primarily an institutional history of the College of Home Economics to l940; the period from l940 to l965 was covered by Esther Stocks, Director of Placement from l933 to l964. For most standard reference questions, Rose is the place to begin. This work includes important primary source documents, and is filled with fascinating insights into the world of home economists, such as the controversy over admitting home economics graduates into the American Association of University Women.

Rose, Flora, Pioneers in Home Economics. Practical Home Economics. 25 (1947).

Library Annex and Mann Library - call number TX1.P89.

This series of eight articles, written by the one of the pioneers in home economics at Cornell, provides a wonderful account of the professionalization of home economics as well as of the women and men behind the scenes.



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