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Creating ConsumersHome Economists in Twentieth-Century America$
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Carolyn M. Goldstein

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780807835531

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807872383_goldstein

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Creating a Science of Consumption at the Bureau of Home Economics, 1920–1940

Creating a Science of Consumption at the Bureau of Home Economics, 1920–1940

(p.62) 2 Creating a Science of Consumption at the Bureau of Home Economics, 1920–1940
Creating Consumers

Carolyn M. Goldstein

University of North Carolina Press

The establishment of the Bureau of Home Economics (BHE) in 1923 provided home economists with a higher degree of authority that allowed women in the field to confirm their status as experts not only in food and nutrition but also in household goods. Under the bureau's first director, Louise Stanley, a pioneering generation of home economists initiated the development of a federal information clearinghouse in the service of consumers. This chapter examines the bureau's origins, its function as a training ground for home economists, and its efforts to develop a research agenda specializing in the user's perspective on consumer products as well as the study of consumers themselves. It also analyzes how the influence of women in BHE worked in reforming consumer behavior.

Keywords:   Bureau of Home Economics, BHE, food, nutrition, household goods, Louise Stanley, consumer behavior

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