The Common Ground of Womanhood: Class, Gender, and Working Girls' Clubs, 1884-1928
by Priscilla Murolo
University of Illinois Press, 1997
Paper: 978-0-252-06629-0 | Cloth: 978-0-252-02107-7
Library of Congress Classification HQ1904.M87 1997
Dewey Decimal Classification 331.406073

      Where is the "common ground of womanhood"? In a unique and
        highly nuanced study of previously unexplored cross-class alliances, Priscilla
        Murolo charts the shifting points of consensus and conflict between working
        women and their genteel club sponsors, working women and their male counterparts,
        and among working women of differing ethnic backgrounds.
      The working girls' club movement lasted from the 1880s, when women poured
        into the industrial labor force, into the 1920s. Clubs initially were
        governed by upper-class women, and activities converged around standards
        of "respectability" and the defense and uplift of the character
        of women who worked for wages. Later, the workers themselves presided
        over the clubs, at which point the focus shifted to issues of labor reform,
        women's rights, and sisterhood across class lines.
      This valuable and lucid study of the club movement's trajectory throws
        new light on broader trends in the history of women's alliances, social
        reform, gender conventions, and worker organizing.
      A volume in the series Women in American History, edited by Anne Firor
        Scott, Nancy A. Hewitt, and Stephanie Shaw, and in the series The Working
        Class in American History, edited by David Brody, Alice Kessler-Harris,
        David Montgomery, and Sean Wilentz

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