S. Jay Kleinberg, Brunel University/UK
organized by the Hull Chair in Women's Studies and the Department of History
This paper comes from a new project: the making of the matron, women in mid-life from age 40 to age 65. Historians have neglected this historically specific stage in the life cycle, concentrating heretofore on girlhood, motherhood, and old age. This presentation will focus on employment. While men exhibited a smooth employment profile over the course of their working lives, women's was highly "heaped," that is, it seemed to peak on years ending in zero or five. This is significant for what it tells us about the factors impelling certain women into labor force participation and underscores the divisions among economically active and inactive women, especially by race and education. Thus, the analysis of age heaping helps historians to understand the dynamics of female employment. By providing a new baseline about middle aged women's employment, this paper illuminates a host of major policy questions addressed by feminists in the 1960s and 1970s, such as pension splitting and age discrimination. It provides a foundation for further exploration into the significance of this new identity of middle age for women themselves, public discourse, and social activism. After all, middle age women were the sparks of the second wave of feminism.
S. Jay Kleinberg is Professor of History, Brunel Business School Brunel
University, London, England and Editor, Journal of American Studies, the
journal of the British Association of American Studies. Among her books
are The Shadow of the Mills: Working Class Families in Pittsburgh, 1870-1907
(University of Pittsburgh Press, 1989); Women in the United States, 1830-1945
(Rutgers University Press, 1999); and Widows and Orphans First: The Family
Economy and Social Welfare in the United States, 1870-1939 (in press,
University of Illinois Press, 2005). She is co-editing a collection, Re-visioning
U.S. Women's History (Rutgers Univ.
The Cultural Studies and Gender Research Focus Group is an interdisciplinary
group of UCSB faculty and graduate students with diverse research interests
in culture, gender, and critical theory, and a shared interest in the
analysis of contemporary and twentieth century culture from a materialist
and feminist perspective.
Evelyn Nakano Glenn's teaching and research interests focus on transdisciplinary
methods, political economy of households, the intersection of race and
gender, immigration, and citizenship. She is the author of Unequal
Freedom: How Race and Gender Shaped American Citizenship and Labor;
Issei, Nisei, War Bride: Three Generations of Japanese American Women
in Domestic Service, and Mothering: Ideology, Experience and Agency.
Evelyn Nakano Glenn is Professor of Women's Studies and Ethnic Studies and founding director of the Center for Race and Gender at UC Berkeley.
Sponsored by New Racial Studies Project and co-sponsored by the Women's Center, Multicultural Center, Sociology, Asian American Studies, Citizenship and Democracy in 21st Century Focus Group.
At a time when electoral politics and processes are topics of intense
concern and scrutiny, Cynthia Enloe will focus on the intersection between
masculinities, militarism and democracy. One of America's pre-eminent
theorists of gender and the military, Cynthia Enloe is currently Research
Professor in the International Development, Community and Environment
Dept at Clark University. She has published nine books including The Morning
This event is sponsored by the Center for the Study of Sexuality in the
Military, The Center for Cold War Studies, the Department of Sociology,
the East Asia Center, the Hull Chair of Women's Studies and the Women's
Studies Program and the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center.
© Corinne Wieben 2004