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How did the new mass society affect the lives of women?

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moocow554 | Student, Undergraduate | Valedictorian

Posted January 23, 2012 at 4:44 AM via web

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How did the new mass society affect the lives of women?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 23, 2012 at 5:03 AM (Answer #1)

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Because of the other questions that you have asked, I assume that you are talking about the emergence of mass society in the late 1800s.  If so, the impact on women was fairly complex.

On the one hand, the emergence of this society was beneficial to women.  This was particularly true for women in the middle class.  These women saw dropping birth rates and an increased ability to pay for domestic help.  This greatly reduced the amount of work that they had to do themselves, leaving them more free time which they used (at times) to participate in things like reform movements.

However, women were also in some ways expected to do more.  There was the "cult of middle class domesticity" that held that women were supposed to create idyllic lives for their husbands and children.  This entailed more work than had once been expected of them.  In addition, women were expected to do this even if they did not have the resources to hire more than one domestic servant to help them.

The impact on women, then, was complex.  It gave some of them more opportunities for leisure and rewarding activities, but it also burdened many of them with higher expectations that were very difficult to live up to.

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