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United States History Commons

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Western Michigan University

Social History

2004

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Full-Text Articles in United States History

Recipes For Reform: Americanization And Foodways In Chicago Settlement Houses, 1890-1920, Stephanie J. Jass Jun 2004

Recipes For Reform: Americanization And Foodways In Chicago Settlement Houses, 1890-1920, Stephanie J. Jass

Dissertations

During the late nineteenth century as tens of thousands of immigrants flooded American cities, public debate among reformers--who tended to be middle-class, white, Anglo-Saxon Protestants--began to center on the best ways to assimilate these foreigners into American society. Although some Americanization groups stressed language and citizenship training, two major reform movements focused on foodways as an important tool of assimilation.

This dissertation examines how both the home economics and settlement house movements attempted to Americanize ethnic food practices. It describes why reformers saw foodways as a viable and meaningful avenue for reform, as well as the varied responses that reformers ...