Proposal

The outbreak of World War II and the United States involvement drastically changed the lives of millions of women all over the nation. With the onset of mechanized warfare, the industrialization of mass-produced goods and the benefits of assembly line production, workers were able to produce war munitions at an exponential rate. The social and cultural role of American women throughout the early 1940’s shifted tremendously, and without their answer of the call to action, the world may not be the way it is today. Their work ethics and determination is a major factor in the United States’ winning of the war, and in turn, World War II helped to provide them with the tools they needed to survive and started them on the path to compete equally within a man’s world.  The six million American women that joined the workforce during World War II were the Hidden Army of the Allies.

            The goal of this paper is to explore the ways in which women contributed to the war effort, their treatment during such time by their employers, the roles the government and various forms of propaganda played in women’s decisions to leave their housewife statuses and the shift in the public’s view of women in the workforce at the end of the war. There are a number of reliable primary sources I have found that I will be basing my research on, including a documentary that provides first-hand accounts from various women from different socioeconomic, ethnical and racial backgrounds. I have also found a few websites that will help to aid in my research, providing written detailed accounts of women’s lives in the workforce.

            In addition to the various primary sources, I have found a substantial number of secondary sources as well. The majority of the secondary sources I have uncovered are various books, all focusing on the primary roles of women throughout the war and the “Rosie the Riveter” status. A few of the books I have found provide wonderfully extensive bibliographies, which will aid in my research further.

 These women were truly amazing in the feats they accomplished and the tasks they performed. Their stories are empowering and provide inspiration for all women, proving that women are not just the weak, feeble nurturing beings that societies and cultures throughout time have tried to keep separate from men. With my finished document, the readers will have gained a better understanding of what life was like for a woman in the United States between 1941 and 1945.

Bibliography

American Women: A Library of Congress Guide for the Study of Women’s History and Culture in the United States. Hanover and London: University Press of New England, 2001

Anderson, Karen. Wartime Women: Sex Roles, Family Relations and the Status of Women during World War II. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1981

Baxandall, Rosalyn, Linda Gordon and Susan Reverby. America’s Working Women: A Documented History 1600 to the Present. New York: Vintage Books, 1976

Campbell, D’Ann. Women at War with America: Private Lives in a Patriotic Era. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1984

Carnes, Mark C. and John A. Garraty. American Destiny: Narrative of a Nation. New York: Pearson Longman, 2006

Cashmann, Sean Dennis. America, Roosevelt and World War II. New York: New York University Press, 1989

Colman, Penny. Rosie the Riveter: Women Working on the Homefront in World War II. New York: Crown Publishers, 1995

“Curtains for the Axis, Lace Curtains for Her”. Boeing News Tacoma Edition (October 31, 1944): 3

Field, Connie. (Producer and Director). The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter. Emeryville: Clarity Educational Productions, 1982

Frank, Miriam, Marilyn Ziebarth and Connie Field. The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter: The Story of Three Million Working Women during World War II. Emeryville: Clarity Educational Productions, 1982

Glazer-Malbin, Nona, ed. And Helen Youngelson Waehrer. Women in a Man-Made World. Chicago: Rand McNally & Company, 1973

Gluck, Sherna Berger. Rosie the Riveter Revisited: Women, the War and Social Change. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1987

Harris, Mark Jonathan, Franklin D. Mitchell and Steven J. Schechter. The Homefront: America during World War II. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1984

Hartmann, Susan M. The Homefront and Beyond: American Women in the 1940’s. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1982

Hesse-Biber, Sharlene Nagy and Greg Lee Carter. Working Women in America: Split Dreams. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005

Jones, John Bush. All Out for Victory: Magazine Advertising and the World War II Homefront. Lebanon: University Press of New England, 2009

Lingerman Richard R. Don’t You Know There’s a War On? Toronto: Longman’s Canada Limited, 1970

McEuen, Melissa A. Making War, Making Women: Femininity and Duty on the American Homefront 1941-1945. Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 2011

Strebe, Amy Goodpaster. Flying For Her Country: The American and Soviet Women Military Pilots of World War II. Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group Inc, 2007

War and Post-War Demands fir Trained Personnel, Institute of Women’s Professional Relations (New London, 1943)

Willmott, H.P., Robin Cross and Charles Messenger. World War II. New York: DK Publishing, 2004

World War II: Day by Day. London: Dorling Kindersley Limited, 2004

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