s1793 - Class, Family, and Capitalism in the Early 20th Century United States

Sunday, June 4, 2017: 9:00 AM-10:30 AM
SC 142 (Hofstra University)
Susie Pak, St. John's University
Marrying Into the Upper Class in Early Twentieth Century U.S.
Carole - Srole, California State University at Los Angeles

Session Abstract

This panel looks at women’s role in capitalism and social mobility in the USA. Carole Srole considers women who “married up” in Gilded Age America, and how they negotiated their role. This includes how they reinvented themselves to fit their new elite status. Brenna Holland discusses capitalism more generally, and the role of women in the expansion of capitalism in the 19th century United States. Drawing on the life of Stephen Girard, who epitomised the ideal of the ‘self-made man’, Holland demonstrates the extent to which his success was enabled by a woman. Yael Merkin discusses progressive-era elite women as agents, rather than victims of the patriarchal capitalist system, using the marriage of Bessie Smith to Stanford White.

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