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Critical Analyses of Separate Spheres and the Role of Life Cycle in Shaping the Material World

  • Deborah Rotman
Chapter
Part of the Contributions To Global Historical Archaeology book series (CGHA)

Abstract

Throughout the various analyses of the material world in Deerfield – architectural changes as well as ceramic tea and tablewares – two recurring themes emerged. The first was that gender separation was extant in virtually every ideology shaping gendered social relations from the mid-eighteenth through the early twentieth century. Nevertheless, families and individuals did not consistently adopt wholesale the gender ideals most fashionably current during their respective lifetimes – such as republican motherhood, the cult of domesticity, equal rights feminism, domestic reform, or other ideology. Rather, the ideals to which residents in Deerfield appeared to subscribe were frequently tempered by the unique evolutionary arc of their family. As such, the role of life cycle in shaping the material world was the second theme to emerge through the course of these analyses. The archaeological record was often affected by whether the couple was newly wed, had many young children at home, were in their peak earning years as a family, and so on.

Variations in gender separation under different ideologies as well as the influence of life cycle were clearly important to the lived experiences of Deerfield residents. Consequently, these two themes warranted further scrutiny and critical analyses, which are the foci of this chapter.

Keywords

Gender Role Material World Historical Archaeologist Gender Ideology Developmental Cycle 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Deborah Rotman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of Notre DameNotre DameUSA

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