Pick One Intelligent Girl: Employability, Domesticity and the Gendering of Canada's Welfare State, 1939-1947

By Jennifer Anne Stephen

© 2007

During the tumultuous formative years of the Canadian welfare state, many women rose through the ranks of the federal civil service to oversee the massive recruitment of Canadian women to aid in the Second World War. Ironically, it became the task of these same female mandarins to encourage women to return to the household once the war was over. Pick One Intelligent Girl reveals the elaborate psychological, economic, and managerial techniques that were used to recruit and train women for wartime military and civilian jobs, and then, at war's end, to move women out of the labour force altogether.

Negotiating the fluid boundaries of state, community, industry, and household, and drawing on a wide range of primary sources, Jennifer A. Stephen illustrates how women's relationships to home, work, and nation were profoundly altered during this period. She demonstrates how federal officials enlisted the help of a new generation of 'experts' to entrench a two-tiered training and employment system that would become an enduring feature of the Canadian state.

This engaging study not only adds to the debates about the gendered origins of Canada's welfare state, it also makes an important contribution to Canadian social history, labour and gender studies, sociology, and political science.

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Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Gender and History
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 336 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.8in x 9.0in
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SKU# SP002341

  • PUBLISHED APR 2007

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    Regular Price: $39.95

    ISBN 9780802094216
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    ISBN 9780802091468
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Quick Overview

This engaging study not only adds to the debates about the gendered origins of Canada's welfare state, it also makes an important contribution to Canadian social history, labour and gender studies, sociology, and political science.

Pick One Intelligent Girl: Employability, Domesticity and the Gendering of Canada's Welfare State, 1939-1947

By Jennifer Anne Stephen

© 2007

During the tumultuous formative years of the Canadian welfare state, many women rose through the ranks of the federal civil service to oversee the massive recruitment of Canadian women to aid in the Second World War. Ironically, it became the task of these same female mandarins to encourage women to return to the household once the war was over. Pick One Intelligent Girl reveals the elaborate psychological, economic, and managerial techniques that were used to recruit and train women for wartime military and civilian jobs, and then, at war's end, to move women out of the labour force altogether.

Negotiating the fluid boundaries of state, community, industry, and household, and drawing on a wide range of primary sources, Jennifer A. Stephen illustrates how women's relationships to home, work, and nation were profoundly altered during this period. She demonstrates how federal officials enlisted the help of a new generation of 'experts' to entrench a two-tiered training and employment system that would become an enduring feature of the Canadian state.

This engaging study not only adds to the debates about the gendered origins of Canada's welfare state, it also makes an important contribution to Canadian social history, labour and gender studies, sociology, and political science.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Gender and History
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 336 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.8in x 9.0in
  • Author Information

    Jennifer A. Stephen is an assistant professor in the Department of History at York University.

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