ABOUT THIS BOOK
This feminist rhetorical history explores women’s complex and changing relationship to the home and how that affected their entry into the workplace. Author Jessica Enoch examines the spatial rhetorics that defined the home in the mid- to late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and considers how its construction and reconstruction—from discursive description to physical composition—has greatly shaped women’s efforts at taking on new kinds of work. In doing so, Enoch exposes the ways dominant discourses regarding women’s home life and work life—rhetorics that often assumed a white middle-class status—were complicated when differently raced, cultured, and classed women encountered them.
Enoch explores how three different groups of women workers—teachers, domestic scientists, and World War II factory employees—contended with the physical and ideological space of the home, examining how this everyday yet powerful space thwarted or enabled their financial and familial security as well as their intellectual engagements and work-related opportunities.
Domestic Occupations demonstrates a multimodal and multigenre research method for conducting spatio-rhetorical analysis that serves as a model for new kinds of thinking and new kinds of scholarship. This study adds historical depth and exigency to an important contemporary conversation in the public sphere about how women’s ties to the home inflect their access to work and professional advancement.