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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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Mediation Marginalized: Home Economics in Government and Business, 1940–1970

Mediation Marginalized: Home Economics in Government and Business, 1940–1970

(p.242) 7 Mediation Marginalized: Home Economics in Government and Business, 1940–1970
Creating Consumers

Carolyn M. Goldstein

University of North Carolina Press

After 1940, home economists maintained an active role in manufacturing firms, power companies, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), but under changing circumstances. This chapter discusses how home economists in both government and business confronted a series of simultaneous challenges to their professional identities as mediators of consumption. Business home economists found considerable demand for their services during World War II. Because of their reputation as authorities in health and food, manufacturers and retailers continued to rely on them as corporations support nutrition and conservation programs connected with national defense. After World War II, home economists gradually lost their institutional platform in government, as the USDA shifted away from a consumer-oriented program of research toward concerns with the management of problems associated with overproduction.

Keywords:   home economists, manufacturing firms, power companies, USDA, consumption, World War II, overproduction

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