1st Edition

Consumerism and the Movement of Housewives into Wage Work
The Interaction of Patriarchy, Class and Capitalism in Twentieth Century America

ISBN 9781138611597
Published June 30, 2020 by Routledge
200 Pages

USD $38.95

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Book Description

First published in 1998, this volume explores the connections between the rises in consumerism and the number of married women in paid work in light of the centrality of shopping and consumerism to the modern world. David R. Wells argues for women’s incomplete gains from consumerism through an analysis of married women’s employment, the structure of capitalism and the contradictory requirements of consumerism, the homemaker ideal and gender identity. Through this, Wells demonstrates how the gendered expectations of consumerism became motivating factors for women to join the workforce, resulting in higher standards of living and greater marital power.

Table of Contents

1. Empirical Research on Married Women’s Employment. 2. Structural Theories for Married Women’s Employment. 3. Consumerism and the Structure of Capitalism. 4. The Contradictory Marriage of Consumerism and the Homemaker Ideal. 5. Gender-identity versus Consumption-identity: the Battle at Home. 6. Conclusion: Women’s Incomplete Gains from Consumerism.

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