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Domestic Sphere

[Summary]Separate spheres The Sinews of Old England (1857) by George Elgar Hicks shows a couple "on the threshold" between female and male spheres.[1] 'Separate spheres or the domestic–public dichotomy is an ideology that defines and prescribes separate

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Separate spheres

The Sinews of Old England (1857) by George Elgar Hicks shows a couple "on the threshold" between female and male spheres.[1]

'Separate spheres or the domestic–public dichotomy is an ideology that defines and prescribes separate spheres for women and men. Culturally located in Europe and North America,[2] it emerged as a distinct ideology during the Industrial Revolution, although the basic idea of gendered separation of spheres is much older.

Cult of Domesticity

The culture of domesticity (often shortened to "cult of domesticity"[1]) or cult of true womanhood[a] is a term used by some historians to describe what they consider to have been a prevailing value system among the upper and middle classes during the nineteenth century in the United States[2] and Great Britain. This value system emphasized new ideas of femininity, the woman's role within the home and the dynamics of work and family. "True women," according to this idea, were supposed to possess four cardinal virtues: piety, purity, domesticity, and submissiveness. The idea revolved around the woman being the center of the family; she was considered "The light of the home".[3][4]

Troubling the Domestic Sphere: Women Reformers and the Changing Place of the Home in the United States, 1854–1939

This chapter is about the ways in which women’s involvement in sociopolitical reform efforts during the nineteenth and early twentieth century challenged the ideal purpose of the family household and how everyday items—domestic material culture—provided a powerful font of symbolic meaning to be applied and manipulated in various ways. Women who were not involved in the set of semi-formalized movements that we have historically termed “domestic reform” may nonetheless have reformed the function and meaning of the domestic through their political involvements and through their material worlds.

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