Keeping the Nation's House: Domestic Management and the Making of Modern China by Helen M. Schneider

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The term home economics often conjures images of sterile classrooms where girls learn to cook dinner and swaddle dolls, far removed from the seats of power. Helen Schneider unsettles this assumption by revealing how Chinese women helped to build a nation, one family at a time. From the 1920s to the early 1950s, home economists transformed the most fundamental of political spaces – the home – by teaching women to nurture ideal families and manage projects of social reform. Although their discipline came undone after 1949, it created a legacy of gendered professionalism and reinforced the idea that leaders should shape domestic rituals of the people.

UBC Press, 2012.
ISBN: 9780774819985. 321 pp.
Softcover. Near fine.