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During the Cold War, women in America played vital roles both in the domestic sphere and in the broader socio-political arena. Whether as workers, activists, spies, or politicians, their contributions shaped Cold War narratives and outcomes, challenging traditional gender norms and redefining their roles in society. At PapersOwl, you’ll also come across free essay samples that pertain to America topic.
Homeward Bound by Elaine Tyler May is an American Ideology of the 1940 and 50’s that appeared into two traditional narratives in white American suburban families and fear of anti-cold war nuclear disaster. This in turn formed a new American ideology, called women’s independence in white America. May argues in her book about US foreign relations, communist, lifestyle and culture of a domestic American women.
May present the idea that in the era of 1940 and 50s the united states ideology of a strong nucleus family would change things after World War ll more and more women had the opportunity to work, bring home the bacon and still provide the stereotype of a good mother and wife. However, the argument she also made was that when the men came back from the war women’s lifestyle and culture would change when the men returning home to their normal lifestyle. May states In spite of the tremendous changes brought about by the war, the emergency situation ultimately encouraged women to keep their sights set on the home, and men to reclaim their status as the primary breadwinners and head of household (May pg. 59).
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Other argument May present is that of the repercussion of women that had the taste of independence and equal pay during and after the war in which many didn’t see as a good sign for a nucleus family. This in many ways was sign of foreign infiltration in American traditions, culture and sexual behavior in many American families. May states Many high-level government officials, along with individuals in position of power and influences in fields ranging from industry to medicine and from science to psychology, believed wholeheartedly that there was a direct connection between communism and sexual depravity (May pg. 91).
Another key thing to remember that May argues is the generation of domestic women contained in a culture trapped in a screaming body crying to be free from this cold war generation of domestic housewife. May states A postwar wife and mother herself, Friedan spoke directly to women like those in the Kelly Longitudinal Study, who had lived according to the domestic containment ideology (May pg. 199).
I felt that Elaine Tyler May didn’t really talk more about black America that much, I understand that she was focusing overall on white America at that time period, but it would have been in interesting combination to compare two of Americas biggest racial groups at that time period. However, may did argued that Black women where way ahead of the containment of a house wife and was far ahead of an independence and dependent from their male companions. May states Black Americans were willing to take huge risk and make massive sacrifices to fight against racial injustice, and to hold the nation leaders accountable (May pg. 199).
Comparing domestic containment in today’s world has improve dramatically in which the 1950 nucleus family doesn’t really coexist in the 21st century and since the women movement and equal right for women was implemented in the United States of America.
In conclusion the Home bound American Families in The Cold War Era by Elaine Tyler May did an awesome job in explaining the post war era of domestic containment of the women in the work force and house hold during and after the war to the overwhelming conflict in which communist fear of taking of family values and sexuality in the house hold from the explosion of a new generation of baby boomer which changed not only domestic house wives and traditional family values but future values in which President Donald trump nationalist ideology of 1950 family values and traditions of white American will make America great again.
May, E. T. (2008). Homeward bound: American families in the Cold War era. New York, NY: Basic Books.
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