Title

From Sisterhood to Objectivity:Social Workers, Unmarried Mothers, andthe Professionalization of Charity in the 1920s

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2004

Abstract

Tracing the evolution of efforts to aid unmarried mothers in the 1920s exposes characteristics of social workers and evangelicals which simultaneously united and divided them, but which universally distanced them from the unmarried mothers they worked with. Most significantly, they marginalized the people they professed to help in favor of their own agendas: religious conversion for evangelicals and professionalization for social workers. As a result, unmarried mothers of the 1920s survive only through the partial and flawed accounts of evangelicals and social workers, but otherwise have disappeared soundlessly into history.

Advisor

L. Dumenil

Department

history

Support

Support provided by:Lilly Foundation Values and Vocations Fellowship

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