A History of Gender in America introduces students to the concept of gender and the way that ideas about masculinity and femininity have been defined and contested from the colonial period through the twentieth century in the United States. It allows students to reflectively analyze and develop a sophisticated and complex picture not only of how men and women in the past have constructed their personal identities and conducted their lives, but also how the power to do so has been negotiated and distributed.
Combining introductory essays that survey the literature on the history of gender, as well as documents, articles, study questions, and bibliographies, a mixture of chronological and topical chapters offers teachers the material they need to explore with their students such questions as:
How does gender contribute to the way historical knowledge is organized and presented? What factors have been most important in determining how gender is constructed in any particular period in American history? Whose interests do gender conventions serve? What causes ideas about gender to change? How do those changes take place? What are the results of those changes? What influence do factors like race, class, ethnicity, sexual preference, and geographical location have on the construction of gender? How do men and women solve problems in their everyday lives using culturally constructed notions of gender?show more