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Gender Studies 10.21.08 - 1 WWII Economic/Social...

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1. WWII Economic/Social Conditions (another large scale economic and social shift) a. War Time Production Rates i. The Job Market 1. 25% of American still unemployed by the end of 1930s. 2. BUT during WWII, employers had shortages of workers. 3. High war time production rates required more workers at exactly the same time that men went to war. a. Similar to WWI, when African Americans were brought from south to meet these demands. 4. Women recruited to fill these demands, particularly the housewives. b. Creation of “Rose the Riveter” i. Government campaign to recruit women, created Rosie the Riveter 1. Once she is in the plant, she discovers that her domestic duties have prepared her for industrial work (i.e. Video: instead of cooking at home, she’s cooking up metal; instead of filing nails, filing metal). 2. Images of Rosie disseminated throughout mass media. 3. Propaganda campaign hugely successful. a. 6 mil. Women who had never worked outside the home, joined the labor force. 4. Describes Rosie as temporary workers who had taken jobs as war effort, but would leave them as soon as males return to their jobs. 5. CIO insisted these temporary workers receive the same pay as male counterparts; wanted to ensure that women does not become source of cheap labor and would be used after the war as a cheap source of labor. a. First effective institution of concept of equal pay! b. Challenged the common practice of setting wage differentials for men and women in same positions. ii. Working in same conditions as male (in previous male dominated job sectors) for almost always the same pay. 2. Emergent identities a. “Rosie the Riveter” i. Married housewife who moves from kitchen to factory, where women were demanded (See above). ii. D’Emilio’s analysis: how these economic changes impact the social conditions. 1. How did economic conditions impact women workers as a group: a. No longer limited by marital status.
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