This was also the theme of those who defended family allowances with the scientific elaboration of fears about the declining birthrate -the dwindling supply of human factors of pro- duction. Friedrich Burgdorfer, a demographer whose pronatalist past dated from the s and whose credentials included loyal service to the National Socialists, found that he could still find work as an expert on questions of family allowances.
In a lengthy analysis commissioned by the Bavarian Free Democratic party, Burgdorfer warned that at present, "We are on the way to a two-child system" that threatened not only "population growth but also. It was the state's responsibility to insure the preconditions for growth and prosperity, which included policies to "surmount the socio-biological climate that was inimical to families and the new generation. Reformulating the description of a "classless" society and fears of population decline in the context of a general postwar social policy, Gerhard Mackenroth addressed the Association for Social Reform Verein fiir Sozialpolitk in His proposals represented a major addition to the theoretical debate around the reformula- tion of social policy in the s.
Mackenroth, who had spe- cialized in questions of social policy and demographic theory as a professor for national economy in Kiel from to , took over the chair for sociology, social science, and statistics in Kiel in The "classical conception" of a working class no longer had meaning, and the differences among working people were as important as those characteristics unify- ing them.
The family should replace class as the object of social policy. In the wake of industrialization, the family's functions had changed. Children no longer contributed to family income, nor were they a guarantee of old-age security; social security was now a function of the state.
This did not make children any less impor- tant. They were the future labor force of a prosperous economy, and they would pay into social insurance funds from which pen- sioners lived. However, although children's economic contributions were now redistributed through collective institutions, the costs of raising children were still borne by individual families. This ine- quitable situation resulted in social divisions not along the class lines separating "poor and rich but between those "pooi' and "rich in children" kinderarm and kindeweich.
According to Mackenroth, a policy of "distributing the burdens of families" Familienlastenaus- gleich was essential, and redistribution should take place, not among income groups, but within income groups among families. In yet another important variant of this general disucssion, Fer- dinand Oeter located the debate around family allowances within the context of a theory of economic growth. Oeter had served as an expert witness for the parliamentary subcommittee that de- bated legislative proposals for Kindergeld, and he had been par- ticularly influential in one draft of thoroughgoing tax reform ac- cording to principles of family size.
Only the family, he argued, could deliver the "human material" that would fuel economic growth and guarantee the future social security of an aging Ger- man population. However, Oeter pointed out, in a modern in- dustrial economy, "the family. A married couple's cost of living increased by 12 to 15 percent with each child, Oeter reckoned.
Increased accumulation among those who did not bear these additional expenses would skew economic demand in favor of luxury goods and away from basic necessities. The long-term consequences in a market economy were a dwindling labor supply, a crippled social security system, and an economy capable of producing televisions and motorcycles but not a decent loaf of bread. Capital should be understood as accumulated labor. A system of income redistribution to help families would mean that economically "the capitalized value of human labor power would also have the same rank as capital more narrowly understood.
By strengthening it, the state would permit it to do its job. This was far wiser than strengthening the collective-"the way. Although this brief survey in no way exhausts the sociological treatment of family policy in the early fifties, it does identify cer- tain of its central themes. The discussion acknowledged that the work of reproduction was clearly on a par with the work of pro- duction, once human capital accumulation was equated with other forms of created value. Indeed, the emphasis on the family as the vehicle for upward social mobility suggested that women's work in the home had intensified since the war.
According to so- ciological investigations of women's unpaid labor, what time wom- en gained from advances in the rationalization of housework and the transfer of some services from the home to the economy was now spent checking over children's school assignments and caring for their psychological as well as their physical needs. Mothers were also accountable for children's proper moral education and for preparing children to enter society as responsible individuals.
The home was no "haven in a heartless world"; it was the site of important work, essential to economic prosperity and the founda- tion for any future system of social security. Social theorists agreed that women who toiled for wages outside the home were working a double shift. In the long-term, the results would be either human factory rejects or, even worse, reproduction slowdowns-a declining birthrate.
Family allow- ances could not compensate women fully for their work, nor should they; love was work, but at the same time, women's care for their families was motivated by instincts that could not be measured in money terms alone. As commentators from left to right agreed, the home "should not be a hotel in miniature," and the "warmth of the nest," not the furnace's hot blast, was the at- mosphere that the mother should achieve in her domestic work- shop. Family policy should help to achieve this goal in contrast to the measures introduced in East Germany, the "Soviet Zone of Occupation.
However, this acknowledgment was to take the form of a supplement to a male wage. By late when a newly elected Bundestag resumed discussions of family allowance proposals, the initial emphasis on the postwar recovery of disadvantaged groups had given way to a focus on the reproductive work of the family in an expanding economy. As Chancellor Adenauer stated in his opening remarks to the new parliament, technological advance might slow down the corrosive effects of a declining birthrate, but it could not completely reverse a process that threatened to "destroy our entire population in the course of a few generations.
A further indication that questions of family policy would re- main of interest to the ruling coalition was the creation of a new post in Adenauer's second cabinet. The Ministry for Family Ques- tions made clear the importance of this aspect of social policy for the Bonn government, and the man named to head it, Franz-Josef Wuermeling, quickly distinguished himself as the outspoken pro- ponent of a conservative Catholic worldview.
Wuermeling lauded the family's "natural," sacramental quality and invoked the Scrip- tures to justify women's permanent relegation to the domestic sphere and subordination to men. His staff was small and his ministry had little power to initiate legislation; it was intended as an advocate for the family's concerns with other cabinet offices that held responsibility for shaping and guiding legislation through the parliamentary process. But the ministry's existence guaranteed that Wuermeling would be heard on every important social policy issue affecting women and the family, and it lent his reactionary views a cabinet-level legitimacy.
With the strong backing of ex- tremely conservative religiously affiliated family organizations and. The debate resumed under decidedly altered political circumstances, and Adenauer had returned to power with an overwhelming mandate that registered a noticeable shift in the parliamentary balance of power.
In the second Bundestag, its margin soared to ninety-two; with representatives, it controlled as many votes as all other political parties combined. Assured the forty-eight votes of the Free Democratic party on most questions of family policy, the Adenauer government was in a strong position. The SPD continued to propose state-administered payments to all children and contended that the "normal family" of two adults and two children living from a male wage did not fully capture the social reality of postwar Germany in which female-headed house- holds were anything but abnormal.
The plight of never-married, widowed, or divorced mothers, and other low- income families was dismissed as a legacy of the war that would pass. From its powerful position in parliament, the CDUICSU coali- tion could insure that controversy would not lead to stalemate as it had two years earlier. Fearing that further delays would create the space for the more forceful presentation of SPD alternatives, the coalition railroaded through a law in that provided monthly payments of 25 marks to wage earners with three or more chil- dren.
The amount did not cover the estimated cost of feeding and clothing an infant and represented less than one-half of what was needed to support a school-aged child. In cases where both parents worked, payments went to the husband. Excluded were all those not in wage work-the unemployed, those on welfare and pensions-and all those with only one or two children. Family allowances helped few people. A year after the passage of the initial legislation, benefits were extended to the unemployed and to recipients of welfare assistance, but the restriction of pay- ments to families with at least three children guaranteed the ex- clusion of most Germans.
A survey recorded that On- ly Sixty-nine percent of di- vorced and widowed mothers had too few children to qualify for Kindergeld, and only 13 percent could receive more than 25 marks monthly. It was these female heads of "incomplete families" who remained overrepresented among those living below the poverty level. Moreover, there were many indications that family size in- creased with income; thus, those likely to be entitled to Kindergeld were in higher income groups and received substantial benefits from tax deductions for dependents as well.
There was certainly no evidence that the system of family allowances had triggered a baby boom. On the contrary, statistics for the late fifties suggested that the pattern within the working class was to limit family size according to income, and this practice was in no way altered by family allowances.
Once the basic outlines of the system were in place, there were few efforts to change its dimensions. Social Democrats and trade unionists concentrated on increasing benefits within the existing framework; they fully accepted and endorsed the argument that mothers of preschool and school-aged children should not have to work outside the home. Outspoken in their claims that "socialism protects the family," they rejected the attacks of CDUICSU critics, who invoked the "Marxist spectef to charge that the SPD sought to destroy, not defend, the nuclear family.
With intensifying volume, Social Democrats emphasized that "state and society must protect, strengthen, and promote the family. Nor were they any less critical than the ruling coali- tion of family policy in the "Soviet Zone of Occupation," which, charged Gleichheit, the SPD women's monthly, was intended only to "increase the human reserve, which can be economically ex- pl0ited.
For children, the mother was irreplaceable and indispensable. The fight for a male Leistungslohn that was adequate to support a family and the battle for extending the coverage of family allowances were two related means to achieve the same objective. Both strate- gies left no doubt about women's proper place. The legislation regulating Kindergeld centered on a nuclear family headed by a male wage earner. From a historical perspective, we know that "normal families" seldom existed in the Kaiserreich or Weimar; few families could be economically supported by a single wage, and households headed by single women were no unique product of the post years.
At least for the working class, the "normal family" of family policy in the s could not be reestablished, because it had never existed. The advocates of family allowances consistently. Women's work outside the home might be necessary at certain stages of their lives, but their contributions to the family were far more essential to the future of economic growth and social securi- ty.
The mother of two children was best protected by a male wage. The "normal family" did not need state support. Families that deviated from this norm by overfulfilling their responsibilities to accumulate human capital deserved social recognition. They had earned extra compensation because of their special contribution to the welfare of society. Perhaps the emphasis of social policy on women's dependent status within nuclear families deserves no lengthy explanation. After , it was not only West Germans who were involved in what Juliet Mitchell has called the "political reconstruction of the family.
However, a closer look at the debates over "money for children" indicates that West Germans pursued restoration along a peculiarly German path. Of course, how peculiar the Germans were is a question that ultimately will re- quire systematic comparative analysis. The thoughts that follow are offered as a basis for such a comparative discussion. They also serve as a vehicle to bring us from the details of family policy debates back to the larger dimensions of post West German history.
In the Federal Republic's first decade, it is difficult to discover anyone criticizing the idea of the "normal family. But no one examined it as an arena of conflict and power relations be- tween genders and generations, and no one questioned its fun- damental stability.
To be sure, in the immediate postwar years there were proposals for "Mother Families" and alternatives to marriage for women confronted by the "scarcity of men. Alternative conceptual bases for social policy were not entirely lacking in other western European countries. For example, in the Swedish discussion of family allowances that intensified in the s, the needs of children without fathers and of single mothers had been at the center of policy formulation from the beginning, not pushed to the margins or treated as anomalous.
Not the "fami- ly," but the "citizen," was the focus of social policy.
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From this start- ing point, it was possible to develop programs of income mainte- nance based on the assumption that all adults would work outside the home and that single women with children needed particular assistance so that their children's standard of living would not fall below that of families with two incomes. Like the Swedish discussion, the move toward a comprehensive family policy in Germany had also been advanced in the s by fears of population decline, although, obviously, Nazi policies were based on very different conceptions of "family" and "citizen- ship.
Zahn-Harnack observed that solutions to certain problems in the postwar world were more difficult for defeated nations. This was doubtless true, but in the case of defining the needs of single women responsible for the care of children and adult dependents, defeat, the massive loss of adult male life, and the consequent "surplus of women" made it easier to label these as "incomplete," or "half families" that had been created by the war and would disappear as normal times made possible "normal families.
The demographic legacy of the war also gave new life to intense fears of a reduced birthrate. Socidsts, liberals, and the conser- vative CDUICSU coalition shared conceptions of economic growth that were predicated on an expanding German population. They feared that declining family size would set limits to eco- nomic recovery, despite the fact that West German gains from postwar immigration from the east had more than canceled out war losses.
Indeed, between and the population of those areas constituting the Federal Republic grew in population by over 7,,, an increase of To be sure, it was no longer the Fuhrer and the Reich that de- manded population growth, but the needs of the economy and the social security system delivered new justifications for familiar rhetoric.
Although Wuermeling- and with him those who warned that Germany would soon die out-insisted that family policy should not be confused with National Socialist or communist population policy, he typicallly protested far too much. In West Germany, an emphasis on pronatalism and motherhood did not register in a dramatically rising birthrate, nor did it prompt women to stay at home. The demands of an expanding economy meant that by the mid-fifties, employers were once again eager to mobilize the "silent reserve.
There was little serious discussion of programs that would allow women to be mothers and wage earners -for example, in the form of expanded daycare services or tax credits for childcare. The Nazis' war had thus created a Frauenuberschuss and gen- erated the problems of "incomplete" families.
It had also dimin- ished the possibilities for any post critique of the complete "normal" family by driving into exile those most accomplished at delivering a critical perspective on the family in the s. Ideas by themselves cannot restructure human relations, but theoretical frameworks can provide categories for the analysis of needs and ways of meeting them.
The institute's major collective project of the thirties, Studien iiber Autontat und Familie Studies of authority and the family , was a massive in- vestigation of the political consequences of familial socialization; it appeared in not in Berlin or Frankfurt, but in Paris.
The sociological analyses that most influenced the discussion of the family in the fifties were the optimistic accounts of Schelsky and Oeter, not the neo-Marxist approach offered by the Frankfurt. AS for other critical perspectives from the Left, when Engels's Origins of the Family was quoted in the discussion of fami- ly policy in the s, it was by Wuermeling as a negative exam- ple, not by Social Democrats for whom it was an inheritance that they did not acknowledge. Potential criticism of the assumptions underlying the "normal family" was further diluted by the differences that continued to divide middle-class women's organizations, the heirs to the bour- geois feminist tradition, from women in the SPD and the trade union movement.
The critique that emerged-and behind which bourgeois and socialist women could join forces-focused on the reform of marriage and family law and the achievement of wives' formal equality with husbands. It left untouched the concept of the "normal family" and its implications for specific measures like Kindergeld. In part, these priorities reflected the discussion of gender difference, which had taken place among German bour- geois feminists since the late nineteenth century. In the fifties, women activists of all political stripes reaffirmed their insistence that equality should not violate, but rather should reinforce and allow the emergence of, "natural" distinctions, and they endorsed motherhood as the epitome of w0manhood.
In addition, although women in the SPD and the trade union movement placed greater emphasis on the economic needs moti- vating women to work outside the home, they would not be out- done in their assertion that "socially just wages" for men would in- sure that "no mother of preschool or school-aged children should be forced to work out of economic necessity. The split among women's organizations along confessional lines further complicated possibilities for any consistent or unified feminist critique. Catholic women's organizations, often directly tied to the church, were not willing to accept all clerical prescrip- tions for a scripturally based female subordination, but they were certainly far from questioning the sanctity of the family.
Finally, the emphasis on the "normal family" in social theory captured a central experience of Germans in the war's aftermath. In an insigthful essay, Lutz Niethammer describes how the family promised protection, security, organized self-help, and survival in the face of the collapse of other sources of constituted authority. For women, in Niethammeis words, the family became "an obligation, a phantom, and a project. Sociological studies of the career objec- tives of young women in the fifties concluded that although they recognized the importance of occupational training, they ultimate- ly sought work as wives and mothers.
Studies of working mothers stressed that most women would prefer to leave wage work. The categories that did emerge to describe gender relations and women's proper place indicate important characteristics of post- war West German society. Unlike the psychoanalytic terms that were so central to British postwar approaches to the problems of women and children, the German discussion was unselfconsciously sociological and economistic.
The division bet- ween production and reproduction was not always clear when families became agents of human capital accumulation. These categories emphasized the family's indispensability; they also did nothing to mystify its economic functions or the work of women within it. Indeed, in terms reminiscent of the debate among feminists in the early seventies over the value of women's unpaid labor in the home, sociologists and economists in the fifties calculated women's nonwage contribution to economic develop- ment to the last pfennig.
Of course, for them women's unpaid work was in the service of the "nation," the "family," and the Volk, not capitalism or patriarchy. At the same time that women's reproductive work was praised as essential to the smooth functioning of the "market economy," it was also women's responsibility to raise children to resist the con- sumer temptations offered by the "economic miracle" Wirtschaflswunder of postwar recovery. Inculcating children with the right values was clearly among a mother's tasks.
The family, women's proper place, was in the market economy but not of it. Mothers preserved and transmitted to their children values that would abate the worst excesses of unbridled competition and would pre- vent West Germany from becoming a materialistic nation. Women also needed to police themselves. Those who worked out- side the home constantly threatened to cross that boundary sep- arating need from desire. Men had to go out to work; women chose to go out to work.
For mothers, the choice meant turning their backs on their primary responsibilities; their motivations were under particular scrutiny. Family policy also became an important vehicle in the ideologi- cal move to a classless postwar society. This was most clearly ex- pressed in Mackenroth's distinction between "kinderam" and "hinderreich,"and in Schelsky's description of the "levelled-out petit bourgeois-mittelstandisch society.
The reconstitution of a private family sphere was vital to reaching the "end to ideology" in the fifties. It also embodied a critique of the ideological alternatives presented by Germany's recent past and by a communist East Germany in the present. In the confused cate- gories of totalitarian theory, it was possible to reject both at the same time; the family could serve as a vehicle for anti-Nazi and anticommunist rhetoric.
The emphasis on the family as an intimate, in- violable sphere reflected the widely held perception that National Socialists had attempted to subordinate the individual to the nation directly by weakening the link -the family -that should hold the two together while preserving the individual's privacy. Particularly in the formulations of the ruling CDUICSU coalition, it was com- munists who continued to attempt what National Socialists had not accomplished-to rob parents of authority over their children, to transform youth into charges of the state, and to reduce the family to the site "where children are brought into the world; but children, so says the state, belong to it.
In Wuermeling's words, both the "inhuman National Socialist rule of force" and the "Soviet terror that reduces the value of humanity to a soulless machine" attempted to transform in- dividuals into "slaves of the collective. Although both acknowledged women's contributions to the social order, they sought to make women into servants of the state. In a democratic Germany, this equation would be reversed; the state would serve the needs of women and the family, securing women's status and supporting her vital domestic labors as wife and mother. Social policymakers in a new Germany sought to secure the family as society's most essential building block, safe from state intervention.
Strengthen- ing the family insured women the true equality that they could achieve only within the private sphere. In contrast, for both Na- tional Socialists and communists, women's "forced emancipation" brought them only the right to work alongside men in Nazi war industries or in East German uranium mines. West Germans also renounced a past in which the Nazis had sought political stability in Lebensraum literally, "living space" in a conquered Eastern Europe; they replaced it with a search for security in the Lebensraum of the family in which a "free" West Germany would grow and in which a new generation would be socialized.
The advocates of "money for children" in the Federal Republic argued that Nazis and communists alike pur- sued population policy, not policies to strengthen healthy families. Whether for women in the SPD or Wuermeling, the implication was the same: communism threatened the family, and an effective family policy was a bulwark against communism. The particular form of the "political reconstruction of the family" in post West Germany guaranteed that the Wirtschaftswunder would not be so miraculous for women.
Women Who Work: Housework and Claim for Equal Pay
Biology had defied women's status under the Nazis; it remained women's destiny in a democratic republic. The "collapse" of that convenient description that made it unnecessary to go too far in ascribing agency and responsibility-did not leave Germans at the Stunde Null zero hour. In the language of pronatalism, motherhood, the sanctity of family relations, and in the state's at- tempts to shape these private relationships, there were striking continuities across the divide of The debates around the protection of the family did identify ge- nuine needs. As in almost all other societies, German women in the fifties carried extraordinary burdens of biological motherhood and socially constructed burdens of housework and childcare.
However, by locating women in "normal families" with male "pro- viders," policymakers guaranteed that these needs would be ad- dressed only in certain ways. In their categories, women's place was reasserted and reified, not redefined. An earlier version was presented to a conference on Gender and German History, held at Rutgers University in April My appreciation to the members of the New York German Women's History Study Group, who organized the conference, and to all other discussants, particularly Ute Frevert.
I have attempted to keep references to a minimum. This point eludes Sylvia Ann Hewlett in her invocation of West European examples to highlight her critique of the inadequacy of state support for families in the United States. Dietz Nachf. Beck, These are figures on war losses for all parts of occupied Germany. Groener-Geyer to Parliamentary Council, 2 Jan.
Anna Spath, "Vielfaltige Forderungen nach Gleichberechtigung und 'nu? Franz-Xaver Kaufmann Munich: R. Oldenbourg, , Martin's Press, , Scheur, hereafter cited as. VdBq, [I. Sitzung, 13 Sept. Soziale Arbeit 1 December : See the discussions in VdBT, [I. Sitzung, 28 Apr. Ohtober Cologne: Kolnische Verlagsdruckerei, n. See the comments of SPD representatives in "Kurzprotokoll der Sitzung des Ausschusses fur Sozialpolitik [of the Bundestag] am Freitag, den September ," copy in Parlamentsarchiv [hereafter cited as PA], Bonn. Companies argued that the RDH was overstepping its appropriate position by attempting to enter into the world of industry as an equal to manufacturers.
Some companies went so far as to try to ban the Sun Seal and restrict the activities of the homemakers' federation. Arguing that the lab's sample size was too small to be meaningful, appliance companies attacked the legitimacy of the RDH. Companies had reason to be worried about the laboratory in the beginning because, at first, it rejected almost 75 percent of the appliances that it tested. Furthermore, because of this discouraging figure, manufacturers were suspicious of RDH women's recommendations on how to improve their products.
However, it was not long before electrical appliance manufacturers realized that by cooperating with the RDH they could essentially co-opt the Sun Seal as an advertising strategy. In fact, soon after the industry lost its fight to ban the Sun Seal, many major companies, such as Siemens and A. Moreover they started to change the construction of some appliances, taking note of the RDH's suggestions about how to revise things like the dimensions of ovens, the position of controls, the design of pots and pans, and the size of refrigerator doors Werbeleiter While manufacturers accepted the Sun Seal as well as some of RDH's advice, they did not begin to design appliances in close cooperation with homemakers.
Rather, companies took note of homemakers' recommendations if it did not take too much effort to do so, or they responded to homemakers' complaints politely. At the same time that they began to embrace the work of the RDH laboratory, companies also started to use professional homemakers to advertise and market their goods. They enrolled "professional homemakers" to hold lectures and cooking demonstrations in order to promote the use of electrical appliances in the home, reinforcing the authority of women in the domestic sphere.
The manufacturers came to realize that they would not be successful in either designing or marketing their new goods without the participation of women. First, because male engineers and technicians were not familiar with domestic matters, and second, because manufacturers needed women to publicize their products and ultimately sell the idea of technology to women. The needs of the manufactures thus began to correspond more closely with the interests of housewives' associations. Alongside its laboratory, the RDH organized exhibitions, lectures, cooking demonstrations, presentations of appliances and advice about how to use and rent electrical equipment.
These classes, workshops and presentations were part of the RDH's larger effort to educate women about how to be efficient and thrifty workers in their homes. For RDH members, household rationalization remained a central tenant of the homemakers' contribution to the nation after the war Nolan Since two-thirds of the nation's income was spent by homemakers, the RDH explained, women's ability to deal with resources carefully was key to recovery.
During World War I, women had been encouraged to "rationalize" their households. The RDH explained that women needed to learn thrift and to modernize their homes, and declared itself the perfect educator Meyer According to the RDH, Germany's postwar "spiritual recovery" depended on the health of the German family, and women were responsible for the condition of their families Frauenwirtschaft Since the family was the "nucleus of the state," it was central to the maintenance of the nation the Volk. An overworked homemaker would thus have a detrimental impact on the health of the state because she would not be able to devote herself to such an important task.
Thus, mechanization would help to "strengthen the nation and to stop the dissolution of the family" Korrespondenz Frauenpresse , Daheim In line with their nationalist sympathies, the RDH encouraged women to believe that every single member of the nation should think about what he or she could do for Germany. The homemaker's responsibility, they stressed, was to save resources, time, and energy by rationalizing and mechanizing her housework. Specifically, German women needed to buy German products, manage food carefully, be frugal with supplies and cook efficiently.
They also needed to monitor and take care of their families, ensuring that every member chewed their food well and contributed to the conservation efforts of the household. By following these guidelines, German women could help prevent their country from falling into bankruptcy and decline Potthoff RDH women saw electrical appliances as important tools for rationalizing and improving the home. One woman in the RDH suggested that electricity could offer homemakers more than just a reduction in their work. She exclaimed that "cooking with electricity saves fat [and] helps improve nutrition!
Since clothes were washed more gently in a washing machine than by hand, she observed, clothes lasted longer Bielfeld Women, they suggested, needed to make smart consumer choices as individuals in order to save the nation from the ills of heartless capitalists and foreign competition. In this way, the RDH tried to contribute to the solution of national problems, crossing the borders of "separate spheres" ideology.
RDH women thought of themselves as female participants in the public sphere. They simultaneously asserted that housewifery was the true vocation for women and brought their moral authority as housewives into the public sphere. The RDH clearly believed that individual solutions were the best way of tackling national problems, an idea that they shared with conservative politicians and industrialists. RDH women thus produced a feminized version of conservative political rhetoric. The RDH explicitly rejected the capitalist world of work at the same time that their ideas were in many ways the domestic counterpart to free-market capitalism.
RDH principles of domestic work also reproduced middle-class ideas about families. The women whom the RDH imagined it addressed did not work outside the home and could afford to spend their time working without monetary compensation at budgeting, cleaning and monitoring their relatives' chewing habits. While the RDH was concerned about overworked homemakers, its preoccupation with timesaving devices does not indicate that it was interested in easing the domestic labor of women who worked outside the home. In fact, these women were rarely mentioned in their literature.
Ultimately, women in the RDH argued that domestic rationalization and the increased use of technology in the home were indispensable for German society. The adoption of technology was meant to help "strengthen and elevate the family life of our people, in order to stop the dissolution of the family that is becoming ever more evident. Bielefeld, Greta. Die Mechanisierung des Haushalts und ihre volkswirtschaftliche Bedeutung. Berlin: Julius Beltz. Binder, Beate. Elektrifizierung als Vision.
Zur Symbolgeschichte einer Technik im Alltag. Bridenthal, Renate. New York: Monthy Review Press. Teil I. Clemens, Picht. Amerikareisen, Amerikaerfahrung und Amerikabild. Deutscher Elektroindustrieller vor dem Ersten Weltkrieg. In Universalgeschichte und Nationalgeschichten. Freiburg: Rombach. Czada, Peter. Berlin: Colloquium Verlag. Gugerli, David. Zur Elektrifizierung der Schweiz Frankfurt: Campus. Frevert, Ute. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp. Gapinksi, Felix. Die Stellung der deutschen Elektroindustrie innerhalb der internationalen Elektrowirtschaft in der Gegenwart.
Glatzer, Wolfgang et al. Haushaltstechnisierung und gesellschaftliche Arbeitsteilung. Goldstein, Carolyn M. Technology and Culture Zur Krisis in der Hauswirtschaft. Berlin, Leipzig: Julius Beltz. Hagemann, Karen. Bonn: Dietz. Cambridge: MIT Press. Herf, Jeffrey. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Kiesewetter, Hubert. Beasts or Beagles? Amerikanische Unternehmen in Deutschland. Stuttgart: Steiner. Kittler, Gertraude. Zur Geschichte eine Natur-Ressource. Langguth, Frauke.
Lerman, Nina E. Lubar, Steven. Men, Women, Production, Consumption. Charlottesville: Univ. Press of Virginia. Mai, Gunther. Geschichte und Gesellschaft, Heft 2 Mc Gaw, Judy. Cutcliffe and Robert C. Bethlehem: Lehigh Univ. Meyer, Erna. Stuttgart: Francke. Nolan, Mary. New York: Oxford Univ. Orland, Barbara ed. Ein Jahrhundert Rationalisierung und Technisierung im Haushalt. Orland, Barbara. Emanzipation durch Rationalisierung? In Rationale Beziehungen? Frankfurt: Surhkamp. Osietzky, Maria. Technikgeschichte, NR. Vom Perpetuum mobile bis zur Energietechnik: Leibliche Beharrlichkeiten.
Prowe-Bachus, Margarte-Maria. Auswirkungen der Technisierung des Haushalts auf das Familienleben. Reagin, Nancy. Schwartz-Cowan, Ruth. Bijker, Thomas P. Hughes, and Trevor J. Williams, James C. Wolff, Kerstin. Kassel: Archiv der Deutschen Frauenbewegung. Zahn-Harnack, Agnes.
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Die Frauenbewegung: Geschichte, Probleme, Ziele. Hessler is a Ph. The Social Democratic Women's Association was actually one of the early supporters of the introduction of electrical appliances into the household. But the Social Democratic Women's Association soon realized that electrical appliances were not going to be available to working-class women and turned their attention to developing methods of rationalizing housework instead of mechanizing the home Frauenwelt Thus, mechanization would help to "strengthen the nation and to stop the dissolution of the family" Korrespondenz Frauenpresse , Daheim In line with their nationalist sympathies, the RDH encouraged women to believe that every single member of the nation should think about what he or she could do for Germany.
Vorwerk Archive, Wuppertal. Chickering, Roger. Imperial Germany and the Great War. Judy Wajcman. Feminism Confronts Technology. Park: Pennsylvania State Univ. Das unbekannte Heer. Jahrbuch RDH. Kochtopf und Politik. Reinbek: Rowohlt. Hauswirtschaft und Volkswirtschaft. Schiffer, Eugen. Schlegel-Matthies, Kirsten. Im Haus und am Herd. Scott, Joan Wallach. Gender and the Politics of History. New York: Columbia Univ. Wilfried Feldenkirchen. Siemens Notes 1. Vorwerk Brochure,