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Women In Utah History

Paradigm Or Paradox?

Patricia Lyn Scott & Linda Thatcher

Publication Year: 2005

A project of the Utah Women’s History Association and cosponsored by the Utah State Historical Society, Paradigm or Paradox provides the first thorough survey of the complicated history of all Utah women. Some of the finest historians studying Utah examine the spectrum of significant social and cultural topics in the state’s history that particularly have involved or affected women.

Published by: Utah State University Press


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pp. v


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pp. vi-vii

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pp. ix-xviii

The chief goal of this book is to integrate Utah women of all ethnic and religious backgrounds into the broader field of women’s studies. Readers will find that these historical essays show women in Utah as sharing much with other American women, particularly in the West—in other words, as not unique. ...

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1 Polygamous and Monogamous Mormon Women: A Comparison

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pp. 1-35

For many people throughout the world, the words Utah and Mormons automatically bring associations of polygamy even though members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have not officially practiced plural marriage for at least a century. I1 realized this when I knocked on a door as a Mormon ...

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2 Innovation and Accommodation: The Legal Status of Women in Territorial Utah, 1850–1896

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pp. 36-81

The story of the legal status of women in territorial Utah (1850–96) weaves together three historical strands: the expansion of women’s legal rights nationally, the liberalizing tendencies of frontier development, and most important, the necessity of protecting Mormon control and practices, including plural marriage, ...

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3 Conflict and Contributions: Women in Churches, 1847–1920

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pp. 82-128

From the very beginning of its existence as a territory, Utah’s political, social, and economic life has been characterized by division along religious lines. Both perceived wrongs and real injustices exacerbated tensions between Mormons and Gentiles. Throughout the nineteenth century, the fledgling Mormon Church ...

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4 Ethnic Women, 1900–1940

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pp. 129-153

Forty years after the Mormons entered the Salt Lake Valley and many centuries after the Anasazi Indians left traces in Utah’s varied terrain, immigrant women from the Mediterranean, the Balkans, and Asia began long fearful journeys that led them to Utah. They would not see Native Americans on far-off reservations, but perhaps ...

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5 The Professionalization of Farm Women, 1890–1940

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pp. 154-182

“Household manager, cook, laundress, seamstress, dressmaker, nurse and teacher, to say nothing of the sacred duties of wife and mother: are these duties not sufficiently varied and important to require special preparation for their performance? In what other profession would an individual be allowed to practice ...

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6 Gainfully Employed Women, 1896–1950

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pp. 183-222

In the seventeenth century, women wage earners were primarily domestic servants. Following European traditions, American women did not usually hold land or have access to apprenticeships that could have provided skills leading to economic independence. Nevertheless, the idea of a man supporting his wife was ...

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7 From Schoolmarm to State Superintendent: The Changing Role of Women in Education, 1847–2004

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pp. 223-248

“Come children, come. We will begin now.” With these words, tradition holds, sixteen-year-old Mary Jane Dilworth opened Utah’s first school with nine pupils on October 24, 1847, three months to the day after the first Mormon pioneers entered the valley of the Great Salt Lake. This event and the public exhortations ...

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8 Scholarship, Service, and Sisterhood: Women's Clubs and Associations, 1877–1977

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pp. 249-294

In a Different Voice, Carol Giligan’s landmark study of psychological theory and women’s development, concludes that male voices typically speak “of the role of separation as it defines and empowers the self,” while female voices speak “of the ongoing process of attachment that creates and sustains the human community.”1 ...

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9 Women of Letters: A Unique Literary Tradition

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pp. 295-323

All writers, no matter how imaginative their work, are affected to some degree by their environment; but defining those effects, positive or negative, creative or destructive, is always difficult and often impossible. Environmental effects can be paradoxical. Readily available patronage, for example, may result only in the ...

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10 Women in the Arts: Evolving Roles and Diverse Expressions

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pp. 324-359

A healthy artistic climate does not depend solely on the work of a handful of supremely gifted individuals. It demands the cultivation of talent and ability at all levels. It demands that everyday work, run-of-the-mill work, esoteric and unpopular work should be given a chance; not so much in the hope that genius ...

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11 Women in Politics: Power in the Public Sphere

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pp. 360-394

In November 2003, Olene Walker, Utah’s first woman lieutenant governor, made history again by becoming Utah’s first woman governor. She took over that position after Governor Michael Leavitt left the job to head the Environmental Protection Agency in the George W. Bush administration. Very popular with Utah voters, ...

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12 Women's Life Cycles, 1850–1940

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pp. 394-415

In the twentieth-first century, Utah women can see many examples that they can “have it all.” In public life, such examples include a woman governor, women who have served in the state and federal legislature, and women judges. Women are also successful business leaders, educators, entrepreneurs, and blue-collar workers. ...

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pp. 416-418


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pp. 419-423


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pp. 424-438

E-ISBN-13: 9780874215168
Print-ISBN-13: 9780874216257

Publication Year: 2005