"The Cult of Domesticity"
Online Professional Development for US history and American literature teachers
The Cult of Domesticity was a societal ideal promoted especially during the mid- and late nineteenth century. It provided a behavioral handbook, a “code,” for middle-class white women in America that served as a way to value, to judge, and to control how they would both see themselves and be understood by others. Women who questioned the social, economic, and artistic limitations that this code imposed learned to challenge it from within the “sphere” of influence that it prescribed. This workshop will explore how the cult of domesticity constrained women, and how some women transformed it into a tool of empowerment.
Leader: Lucinda MacKethan
Professor Emerita, Department of English
North Carolina State University
National Humanities Center Fellow
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