Title page for ETD etd-07112005-143912

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Vlasnik, Amber Leigh
URN etd-07112005-143912
Title "Sacred Duties": How Historical Constructs of Gender and Work Inform Women's Involvement in U.S. Higher Education
Degree Master of Arts in Liberal Arts (M.A.L.A.)
Department Liberal Arts (Interdepartmental Program)
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Becky Ropers-Huilman Committee Chair
Katrina Powell Committee Member
Tiwanna Simpson Committee Member
  • higher education history
  • working women
  • women's colleges
  • feminism
Date of Defense 2005-06-27
Availability unrestricted
This thesis explores how arguments about gender and labor roles have determined women's exclusion from or acceptance to the academy throughout the history of the United States. Race, gender, and class are identified as interlocking identities that shape experiences and women's gendered relationship to labor is demonstrated through the use of a materialist feminist framework. By tracing the distinct eras of colonial and United States history, the thesis illustrates the debates and public mindset of each time period and how they relate to women and higher education. The thesis concludes that popular social conceptions of the female body and women's labor have dictated women's involvement in higher education throughout the centuries, and, to some degree, these ideas still define women in the academy today.
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