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Women and Gender in the New South: 1865 - 1945

ISBN: 978-0-88295-265-9
271 pages
December 2008, ©2009, Wiley-Blackwell
Women and Gender in the New South: 1865 - 1945 (088295265X) cover image


In every age and in every culture there have been women who challenged the prevailing gender prescriptions and struck a nerve, resulting in waves of either change or repression. In Women and Gender in the New South, Elizabeth Hayes Turner draws on a multiplicity of sources—part of the great outpouring of works in the field of women’s history that has emerged in the past 40 years—to bring together in one volume the history of conservative, moderate, and even radical women’s groups. The book demonstrates how women and men from different racial and economic backgrounds not only weathered but also shaped the political and cultural landscape of the New South. Employing women's history, gender analysis, and race and class studies, Women and Gender in the New South shapes this accumulated scholarship into an interpretative overlay that takes southern women and men from the ravages of one war to the opportunities of another.

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Table of Contents




Introduction: Women and Families in the Civil War Era

War’s End

Chapter One Women, Gender, and Race in Reconstructing the South

Reconstructing the South

African American Families after the War

White Families after the War

Farming among African Americans

Women’s Invisible Household Economy

African American Women and Paid Work

White Farming Families and Women’s Work

From Family Farm to Mill and Village

Gender and Race in the Coal Fields of Alabama, 1878-1908

Chapter Two Gender, Race, and the Construction of White Supremacy

Creating the Lost Cause

Educating the New Generation

Changes in Whites’ Attitudes

The Gendered Origins of Disfranchisement

The Success of the Populist Party and its Aftermath

Lynching for Southern Womanhood

Chapter Three Prelude to Reform in the South

Religion and New Roles for Women

Relief and benevolent Institutions

Temperance and Prohibition

The Farmers’ Alliances and Women’s Education

The Women’s Club Movement

Chapter Four Southern Women and the Progressive Spirit

Southern Progressivism

Women and Municipal Housekeeping

Progressive Reform at the State Level

Reform of the Penal System

Educating the Children of the South

Women and Labor Reform

Health Reform and Eugenics

Gender and Legal Reform

Chapter Five Women and Politics in the South

The Strategic South in the Woman Suffrage Movement

First-Generation Woman Suffragists, 1890-1910

Second-Generation Woman Suffragists, 1910-1920

African American Women Organize for the Vote

World War I

Ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment

The New Woman in Politics

Chapter Six Gender, Race, and the “Modern” Decades

The Thoroughly Modern Southern Woman

Southern Music: The Gendered Art

Women Writers and Southern Literature

Re-creating a White Man’s South

Black Southerners and the Great Migration

Interracial Beginnings and the Anti-Lynching Campaign

Chapter Seven The Great Depression, and the New Deal

The Depression Comes Early to the South

Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal

The New Deal in the South

Down on the Farm

Women, Textiles, and the NRA

Bubbling Radicalism

Epilogue: Southern Women and World War II

Bibliographical Essay


Photoessay Follows Page 92

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Author Information

Elizabeth Hayes Turner is Associate Professor of History at the University of North Texas. She is the author of Women, Culture, and Community; Religion and Reform in Galveston, 1880-1920 (1997), which won three scholarly awards, and co-author of Galveston and the 1900 Storm: Catastrophe and Catalyst (2000). Professor Turner is the author of several articles and co-editor of Hidden Histories of Women in the New South (1994). Beyond Image and Convention: Explorations in Southern Women’s History (1998); Major Problems in the History of the American South (1999); Clio’s Southern Sisters: Interviews with Leaders of the Southern Association for Women Historians (2004); and Lone Star Pasts: Memory and History in Texas (2007), which won the T. R. Fehrenbach Award in Texas history. In 2003 she was a Fulbright Lecturer to the University of Genoa, Italy. Her teaching specialties are history of the New South, Southern Autobiography, and Women and Gender in the New South.
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“Turner’s work is a smart, engagingly-written, and valuable analysis of how white and black women fared during this critical period. . . . The field of southern women’s history is extraordinarily vibrant, and Turner captures the best of it, synthesizes in into a short narrative, and makes it all look easy.”
—Stephanie Cole, University of Texas at Arlington

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