Changes in Women's
Gwendolyn L. Lewis
*Women in modern societies are found simultaneously in many different roles. The predominant roles for women are now, as in the past, those of wife, homemaker, mother, and worker. This chapter traces changes in the emphasis placed on each of these roles during this century, some of the reasons for these changes, and expectations for the future.
Until the late nineteenth century, women in this country, whether married or single, worked almost exclusively in the home or as unpaid labor in family enterprises. This work involved not only the care of children and the upkeep of the house, but also the cultivation and preparation of food and the manufacture of many of the goods used in the home. Teaching and domestic service were among the very few "outside" jobs open to women. However, with increasing industrialization during the nineteenth century, there was the greater demand for labor, and single women gradually began to leave home to work in factories. Single women were allowed by their families to take jobs in order to be self-supporting (Nye, 1974).
In the early twentieth century, single women began to fill sales and clerical positions and continued to expand their participation in teaching and fac‐____________________