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Counting AmericansHow the US Census Classified the Nation$
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Paul Schor

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199917853

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199917853.001.0001

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Women as Census Workers and as Relays in the Field

Women as Census Workers and as Relays in the Field

(p.250) 19 Women as Census Workers and as Relays in the Field
Counting Americans

Paul Schor

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the role of women in the history of the US census. Beginning with the 1920 census, and with women gaining the right to vote that same year, the Census Bureau began devoting considerable effort to women in two distinct directions: first, by making housewives a focus of attention as the interviewees of census workers and the repository of their husbands’ information; and second, more discreetly, by recruiting a growing number of women as census workers and supervisors. Women who worked in the Census Bureau in Washington served several purposes: demonstrating to all that the agency was a great modern enterprise, but also, and more specifically, attracting more applicants. As was the case for African Americans, the information furnished on the activity of women in the Census Bureau—photographs in particular—reveals sex segregation in jobs at the very heart of the agency.

Keywords:   women, US census, housewives, sex discrimination, Census Bureau

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