exhibition   timeline   bibliography   credits
  biographies   interviews   locations  
College of Human Ecology
Cornell University
  home sewing
  a profession?
  type of research?
  types of careers?
  national and international impact?
  educational techniques?
  role in national emergencies?
  influence on consumer culture?
  students' self-definition?
  practice apartments?
  role in the university?
  change to Human Ecology?
  women's suffrage
  Eleanor Roosevelt
  Marriage Course

How Did Home Economics Students
See Themselves?

Home economics students in the early years were thrilled to be at Cornell and felt privileged to have access to higher education, since most women did not have such an opportunity. Home economics faculty and students created a supportive community of women that fostered connection and loyalty among students and alumnae. Yet women students found it hard to achieve an equal place with men at Cornell, and they struggled for equality both in and out of the classroom.

As a college education became more common for women, home economics students began to think of themselves and their relationships with others differently. By the late l930s, they assumed leadership roles on campus. They also became more integrated into the life of the university, took a wider array of classes, and expanded their horizons beyond homemaking to a variety of professional careers. In the postwar era however, the ideal of traditional femininity still played some role in college activities and lingered in students' ideas about their future roles. In conjunction with the growing attention to women's issues in society at large, by the late 1960s, students in home economics showed a new and broader understanding of the value of their Cornell education.

Select an image at left
or choose from the list below:



timeline interviews bibliography credits  


Copyright © 2001 Division of Rare & Manuscript Collections
2B Carl A. Kroch Library, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 14853.
Phone Number: (607) 255-3530. Fax Number: (607) 255-9524.

For reference questions, send mail to: rareref@cornell.edu
If you have questions or comments about the site, send mail to: webmaster.