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Nurses' Questions / Women's Questions

The Impact of the Demographic Revolution and Feminism on United States Working Women, 1946-1986


Susan Leighow

In the forty year period after World War II, American women's roles and perceptions changed dramatically. Between 1946 and 1986 married females became a large and stable component of the labor force. During the late 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s, a growing number of these women adopted the beliefs of the re-emerging feminist movement. This study analyzes the impact of both the demographic revolution and the women's movement on postwar women workers. It also traces the rise of a conservative backlash and examines the reasons traditionalist women found feminism threatening. Nursing, a historically feminized occupation, is the prism through which postwar women are studied.