Women of the Upper Class

Women of the Upper Class

Women of the Upper Class

Women of the Upper Class

Synopsis

In a unique departure from the usual stereotypes, Susan Ostrander gained access to this elite community and interviewed the women in one U.S. region to study their roles, activities, and self-images. Among her conclusions, Ostrander shows that although these women are economically and socially powerful, they are for the most part, unliberated, being subservient to their husbands and to their duty to bear and raise children.

In the series "Women in the Political Economy," edited by Ronnie J. Steinberg.

Excerpt

Contrary to popular belief, the life of the upper-class woman is not all champagne and roses, trips to Paris and Palm Beach. The upper- class woman is also not very interested in high fashion, nor is she a jet-setting party-goer. Her days are not spent lying around the country club pool or attending elegant ladies' luncheons. Though she certainly lives in far greater luxury than women--or men--of any other class, she is no lady of leisure, no spoiled and pampered grand dame. She is, rather, an active and important member of community service and arts boards, an involved and dedicated mother, and a devoted, subservient wife. In short, she is a hardworking member of society; though, as this study suggests, her work serves largely to uphold the power and privilege of her own class in the social order of things.

This study describes the day-to-day activities of upper-class women, with an emphasis on their meaning and consequence. It ex-

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