Cult of Domesticity

Date
2004
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SAGE Publications, Inc.
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Pages
120 - 122
Language
English
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Abstract

The “cult of domesticity” was first explored as a historical phenomenon in antebellum U.S. society by Barbara Welter, who wrote in 1966 of a “cult of true womanhood,” though the phrase itself was coined by the historian Aileen Kraditor in 1968. Part of a broader nineteenth-century northern middle-class ideology of “separate spheres,” the cult of domesticity identified womanhood with the private or domestic sphere of the home and manhood with the public sphere of economic competition and politics. While the cult of domesticity primarily concerned a definition of femininity, defining the home as a space governed by women's sentimental, moral and spiritual influence, this ideology also contributed to definitions of manliness and sought to control male passions at a time when the market revolution, urbanization, ...

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Book Title
American Masculinities: A Historical Encyclopedia
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