Family Politics and the Great Depression: The Traditional Family Model as a Reproduction of Capitalist Exploitation in Tillie Olsen's Yonnondio: From the Thirties

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Seth Umbaugh


In this paper, Tillie Olsen's use of representation of the family in Yonnondio: From the Thirties is explored. Olsen's text suggests that the traditional family model is a middle-class dream, challenging the assertion, often touted by conservative social organizations, that the family is a moral unit, and generator of economic and cultural capital. Instead, Olsen asserts that the traditional family model is restrictive, confining women to the domestic realm and limiting the economic and educational opportunity of working-class people who attempt to adhere to the family model American ideology values so highly.

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