Essay on How the Image of Working Women Came to Be

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Over the past few centuries, beginning with the start of the industrial revolution, the roles of women in the family have been constantly in flux. At the beginning of the industrial revolution, we can see that the role of women shifts to staying at home and taking care of housework, while the man serves as the “breadwinner”. In current time, we see women, now more than ever, having jobs outside of the household. In some cases, the roles of the mother and the father in the family are even switched: the women are the ones with steady full-time jobs outside of the household, while males are the ones staying at home taking care of children. Also found in many cases today, although both parents hold full-time jobs, the woman is the one to take the “extra-shift” to care for their children. This paper will examine how women came to be what author Laura Mattoon D’amore classifies as “the accidental supermom” . So, how did this behavior originate? This research paper will analyze the causes of modern-day “supermoms” and how the image of workingwomen came to be. When anyone thinks of a 1950’s woman, they are likely to immediately think of the typical 1950’s housewife. This stereotypical version of a wife would not work outside of the home, but rather perform household duties such as cooking and cleaning to keep the family running smoothly. However, in most of the 20th century this was definitely not the case. This in-depth analysis will examine how the role of the working mother is not historically unusual at all. It will also assess how the role of the “supermom” , a woman who holds down a full time job while still balancing her family life, originated, and how it has evolved over time.
At the turn of the 20th century, the working class...

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...clopædia Britannica Online, s. v. "Women’s Trade Union League (WTUL)," accessed April 23, 2013,

Murphy, Miriam B. ""Women in the Utah Work Force from Statehood to World War II,." The Utah Historical Quarterly. no. 2 (1982): 139.

Oppenheimer, Valerie Kincade. "Women's Rising Employment and the Future of the Family in Industrial Societies." Population & Development Review 20, no. 2 (June 1994): 293-342. America: History & Life, EBSCOhost (accessed April 23, 2013).

Treas, Judith, and Tai Tsui-o. "Cross-National Evidence on Trends in Support for Working Mothers." Euramerica 41, no. 4 (December 2011): 917-947. America: History & Life, EBSCOhost (accessed April 19, 2013).

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