“Sociologist Mary Patrice Erdmans wrote a book which is gutsy, honest, innovative, and controversial…. The Grasinski Girls is a riveting read, highly recommended to scholars and the broader reading public alike.”
Journal of Social History
“Most intriguing is Erdmans’s exploration of the role of faith and religion for these women, an issue that is sorely overlooked in most scholarly fields…. Interestingly, though they may have turned away from Catholicism, these women’s narratives are suffused with a faith and optimism in life that appear almost anachronistic to a contemporary reader.”
Slavic and East European Journal
“By looking into working class women’s private, domestic lives, Erdmans shows an unusual perspective on the spaces where they forge their identities while they intermittently enter the public world of paid employment.”
The Grasinski Girls were working-class Americans of Polish descent, born in the 1920s and 1930s, who created lives typical of women in their day. They went to high school, married, and had children. For the most part, they stayed home to raise their children. And they were happy doing that. They took care of their appearance and their husbands, who took care of them. Like most women of their generation, they did not join the women's movement, and today they either reject or shy away from feminism.
Basing her account on interviews with her mother and aunts, Mary Erdmans explores the private lives of these white, Christian women in the post-World War II generation. She compares them, at times, to her own postfeminist generation. Situating these women within the religious routines that shaped their lives, Professor Erdmans explores how gender, class, ethnicity, and religion shaped the choices the Grasinski sisters were given as well as the choices they made. These women are both acted upon and actors; they are privileged and disadvantaged; they resist and surrender; they petition the Lord and accept His will.
The Grasinski Girls examines the complexity of ordinary lives, exposing privileges taken for granted as well as nuances of oppression often overlooked. Erdmans brings rigorous scholarship and familial insight to bear on the realities of twentieth-century working-class white women in America.
Mary Patrice Erdmans is an associate professor of sociology at Central Connecticut State University. She is the author of Opposite Poles: Immigrants and Ethnics in Polish Chicago, 1976-1990, winner of the Oskar Halecki Award from the Polish American Historical Association
Save 20% ($23.96)
Save 20% ($39.96)
US and Canada only
Availability and price vary according to vendor.
Permission to reprint
Permission to photocopy or include in a course pack via Copyright Clearance Center
Born in Baltimore in 1911, Clarence Mitchell Jr. led the struggle for passage of the 1957 Civil Rights Act, the 1960 Civil Rights Act, the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and the 1968 Fair Housing Act. Volumes I (1942–1943) and II (1944–1946) of The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr.,
In the Gilded Age, when most sculptors aspired to produce monuments, Bessie Potter Vonnoh (1872–1955) made significant contributions to small bronze sculpture and garden statuary designed for the embellishment of the home. Her work commanded admiration for her fluid and suggestive modeling, graceful lines, and sculptural form. In 1904 Bessie Potter Vonnoh won the gold medal for sculpture at the St.
Even with a university education, the Igbo women of southeastern Nigeria face obstacles that prevent them from reaching their professional and personal potentials. Negotiating Power and Privilege is a study of their life choices and the embedded patriarchy and other obstacles in postcolonial Africa barring them from fulfillment. Philomina E. Okeke recorded life-history interviews and discussions during the 1990s with educated women of differing ages and professions.
A comparative study of Polish migrants in the Ruhr Valley and in northeastern Pennsylvania, The Borders of Integration questions assumptions about race and white immigrant assimilation a hundred years ago, highlighting how the Polish immigrant experience is relevant to present-day immigration debates. It shows the complexity of attitudes toward immigration in Germany and the United States, challenging historical myths surrounding German national identity and the American “melting pot.”