Title page for ETD etd-05112012-225008

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Staub, Kimberly Ann
URN etd-05112012-225008
Title Recipes for Citizenship: Women, Cookbooks, and Citizenship in the Kitchen, 1941-1945
Degree Master of Arts
Department History
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Jones, Kathleen W. Committee Chair
Mollin, Marian B. Committee Member
Nelson, Amy Committee Member
  • World War II
  • domesticity
  • citizenship
  • cookbooks
  • women
Date of Defense 2012-05-02
Availability unrestricted
This thesis argues that cookbooks and cooking literature prescribed domesticity, specifically linked to the kitchen, as an obligation for American women in World War II. Building on the work of culinary historians and gender scholars, I argue that the government enlisted women as “kitchen citizens.” In contrast to the obligations of male military service, government propaganda, commercially-published cookbooks, community cookbooks, and agriculture extension pamphlets used understandings of middle-class femininity to prescribe women’s identity and role in the war effort as homemakers. Despite the popular memory of wartime women as Rosie-the-Riveters, this thesis suggests that working outside the home was a temporary and secondary identity. During World War II, cooking literature re-linked women’s work inside the home to political significance and defined women’s domestic responsibilities as an obligation of American female citizenship.
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