To Shape the Future of the Nation: Gender and Family Order in the Age of Americanization, 1890-1952

Show simple item record Greer Golda, Nicole 2017-01-26T22:22:45Z 2017-01-26T22:22:45Z 2016 2016
dc.description.abstract This dissertation utilizes metropolitan Detroit, a crucial border city, as a case study to illuminate how the first half of the twentieth century became the Age of Americanization in the United States. This era shaped American understandings of family life, men’s and women’s roles in work and reform, the relationship between business and labor, and the place of immigrants in American society for decades to come. The Motor City’s meteoric rise to the heights of industrial production not only encouraged the migration of hundreds of thousands of workers from around the world to its factories but also drew the attention of prosperous farmers, entrepreneurs, successful businessmen and their wives, and reformers. Many of these elite and aspiring men and women competed and collaborated with each other to transform the millions of newly-arriving immigrants into “model Americans.” In so doing, they also vied with each other to determine the boundaries and possibilities of Detroit’s new social order. As these Americanizers influenced and steered national campaigns concerning the behavior of the country’s immigrants and migrants, I argue they created a broader project to shape all native-born and migrant Americans’ behavior as “proper” men, women, fathers, mothers, husbands, and wives. These efforts positioned the development and maintenance of family order as the key to American national identity and citizenship. European immigrants, Asian students and laborers, Latinos, black migrants from the south, and native-born workers, often fresh from the farm, resisted or complied with these attempts to shape their behaviors based on their own imaginings of the nation. They fashioned understandings of Americanism in their own right as they made the city “home,” from the creation of specific “nationality enclaves” such as Mexicantown and Poletown to their participation in and contributions to popular culture. Through these interactions, I document how Americanization ideology became entrenched in immigrant and deportation law, welfare capitalist ventures in factories, social work outreach efforts, citizenship training, community activism, and migrants’ notions of self. This study shows that conflicts between and among Americanizers and migrants shaped not only American nationalism but also understandings of American identity at home and abroad.
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.subject United States History
dc.subject Americanization
dc.subject Women's and Gender History
dc.subject Labor
dc.subject Immigration
dc.subject Race and Ethnicity
dc.title To Shape the Future of the Nation: Gender and Family Order in the Age of Americanization, 1890-1952
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.description.thesisdegreename PHD
dc.description.thesisdegreediscipline History & Women's Studies
dc.description.thesisdegreegrantor University of Michigan, Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies
dc.contributor.committeemember Brick, Howard
dc.contributor.committeemember Morantz-Sanchez, Regina
dc.contributor.committeemember Cotera, Maria E
dc.contributor.committeemember Mora, Anthony P
dc.subject.hlbsecondlevel History (General)
dc.subject.hlbsecondlevel Women's and Gender Studies
dc.subject.hlbtoplevel Humanities
dc.identifier.orcid 0000-0003-4463-7372 Greer Golda, Nicole; 0000-0003-4463-7372 en_US
dc.owningcollname Dissertations and Theses (Ph.D. and Master's)
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