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In the decades after World War II, Americans focused on their homes and families as never before. Marriage and birth rates -- across race and class lines -- rose to a 20th century high. Everything from popular culture, leisure activities, marital advice literature, and cookbooks reflected this intense emphasis on early marriage, childbearing, and domestic life. While this ideology of domesticity remained a fundamental part of Cold War consensus culture through the 1960s, feminists, homosexuals, civil rights activists, peace groups, and individuals embraced domesticity to varying degrees. Many challenged or offered alternatives to mainstream conceptions of domesticity.
This exhibit uses primary source materials from Utah State University's Special Collections and Archives to explore the complex workings of domestic ideology in postwar America.