Wheaton women in the long 1950s.
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"This is a study of women who attended Wheaton College during the 1940s through the early 1960s. It tries to understand how real college women interacted with political and cultural influences that existed in America during this time. My findings draw connections between student and administrative opinion on Wheaton as an institution during this time period using primary sources from the Wheaton College Archives including the Wheaton News and the Wheaton College Bulletin. In order to learn about women’s life choices, I constructed a “survey” that I call the Wheaton College Alumnae Survey. It is an in depth look at women’s lives and life choices from the classes of 1944, 1949, 1954, 1959, and 1964 based on information collected in reunion newsletters. I argue that what is commonly referred to as the "1950s" is actually a much longer period. I call this era the “long 1950s”, which lasts from about 1945 until 1965 and is both an anomalous and dynamic time, especially in considering young women’s role in society. I argue that Wheaton, both its students and administration, supported a wide range of life experiences for its graduates that led Wheaton students of the era to have far more varied lives than what the dominant view of historians of that era have claimed."
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