American Women and the World War II Factory Experience Essay

American Women and the World War II Factory Experience Essay

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American Women and the World War II Factory Experience

After much consideration, I decided to write about American women on the home front during World War II. The work done by these brave women was astounding. In order to narrow the scope of my historical survey, I chose to focus particularly on the factory experience of these women, because the female factory worker challenged the existing societal belief of separate sex roles. In this sense, the female factory worker became a pioneer for the later expansion of women into careers that were largely considered “man’s work.”

My main interest has always been American history. I have been particularly interested in what has happened socially during periods of war. Former research projects, have included studies of Southern women during the Civil War, along with student demonstrations against the Vietnam War. I am enthralled with social history and the activities of those who are left at home during periods of national conflict. The behavior of American citizens on the home front often reflects changing cultural values-an evolution of society- for better or worse.

I am also vastly interested in those individuals that are not typically included in general historical surveys. A successful student of American history knows about Pearl Harbor and Normandy but very little about what their own grandmother did for the war effort. In my work I hope to offer a new and interesting perspective as to what women did to help win the war.

Historians specializing in the American home front, realize the prominence that women played in an American victory. Without these women, the labor force would have been severely weakened. Women war workers were quickly recruited, trai...

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...ender, and Propaganda During World War II. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1984.

Keegan, John. The Second World War. Middlesex: Viking Penguin, 1989.

Leff, Mark H. “The Politics of Sacrifice on the American Home Front in World War II,” Journal of American History 77, no. 4 (1991): 1296-1318.

Milkman, Ruth. Gender at Work: the Dynamics of Job Segregation by Sex during World War II. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1987.

ed. Women, Work and Protest: a Century of US Women’s Labor History, 2d ed. New York: Routledge, 1987.

Polenberg, Richard, ed. America at War: the Home Front, 1941-1945. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1968.

War and Society: the United States 1941-1945. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1972.

Vatter, Harold G. The U.S. Economy in World War II. New York: Columbia University Press, 1985.

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