Uncovering agency in oppressive nineteenth-century domesticated workplaces

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kristy Liles Crawley (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Nancy Myers

Abstract: Through my examination of mid-nineteenth into early twentieth-century businesses related to fashion involving millinery and sewing, boardinghouses, and restaurants, including fine dining and casual establishments, I detail the ways in which homelike furnishings and positive rhetoric surrounding domesticated public spaces disguise exclusionary practices, reinforce gender roles, and contribute to the oppression of women. By women, I am not only including privileged white women of the upper and middle classes but also women minorities and working-class women. While oppressive, these same homelike public spaces provide openings for subversive agency as women act as consumers, workers, and entrepreneurs. Overall, my dissertation adds to rhetorical feminist studies in four ways: first, it highlights consumerism as a rhetorical strategy to enact change; second, it focuses on material rhetorics and the ways they operate; third, it adds to the ever-growing body of rhetorical work on American women; and, fourth, it makes visible these spatial and material rhetorics as important for analyzing women’s work locations today.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2019
American Culture, Domesticated Workspaces, Feminist Studies, Material Rhetoric, Nineteenth Century, Spatial Rhetoric
Rhetoric $x Social aspects $z United States $x History $y 19th century
Women $x Employment $z United States $x History $y 19th century
Feminism $z United States $x History $y 19th century

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