Nancy L. Green is Professor of History at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales.
Influenced by methodologies from diverse disciplines, the study of migrant letters has developed in myriad directions. Scholars have examined migrant letters through such lenses as identity and self-making, family relations, gender, and emotions. This volume contributes to this discussion by exploring the connection between the practice of letter writing and the emotional, economic, familial, and gendered experiences of men and women separated by migration. It combines theoretical and empirical discussions which illuminate a variety of historical experiences of migrants who built transnational lives as they moved across Europe, Africa, Latin America, and the United States. This volume was originally published as a special issue of The History of Family.
Combining the social history of women's labor and the intellectual history of nineteenth-century social science and political economy, Coffin sets many questions in their fullest cultural context: What constituted "women's" work? Did women belong in the industrial labor force? Why was women's work equated with low pay? Should not a woman enjoy status as an enlightened homemaker/consumer? The author examines patterns of consumption as well as production, setting out, for example, the links among the newly invented sewing machine, changes in the labor force, and the development of advertising, with its shifting and often unsettling visual representations of women, labor, and machinery. Throughout, Coffin challenges the conventional categories of work, home, and women's identity.
Originally published in 1996.
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