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Bound By a Mighty Vow : Sisterhood and Women's Fraternities, 1870-1920 - Diana B. Turk

Bound By a Mighty Vow

Sisterhood and Women's Fraternities, 1870-1920

Hardcover Published: 1st June 2004
ISBN: 9780814782750
Number Of Pages: 251

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Sororities are often thought of as exclusive clubs for socially inclined college students, but Bound by a Mighty Vow, a history of the women's Greek system, demonstrates that these organizations have always served more serious purposes. Diana Turk explores the founding and development of the earliest sororities (then called women's fraternities) and explains how these groups served as support networks to help the first female collegians succeed in the hostile world of nineteenth century higher education.

Turk goes on to look at how and in what ways sororities changed over time. While the first generation focused primarily on schoolwork, later Greek sisters used their fraternity connections to ensure social status, gain access to jobs and job training, and secure financial and emotional support as they negotiated life in turn-of-the-century America. The costs they paid were conformity to certain tightly prescribed beliefs of how "ideal" fraternity women should act and what "ideal" fraternity women should do.

Drawing on primary source documents written and preserved by the fraternity women themselves, as well as on oral history interviews conducted with fraternity officers and alumnae members, Bound by a Mighty Vow uncovers the intricate history of these early women's networks and makes a bold statement about the ties that have bound millions of American women to one another in the name of sisterhood.

Industry Reviews

"Turk illuminates a previously neglected, marginal(ized) subject in her balanced assessment, showing how women's Greek letter fraternities reflected larger social currents: gracefully written and handsomely presented."--Choice "Turk paints an eloquent picture of how the bonds of sisterhood sustained these women and their fellow pioneers ... Turk is to be commended for illuminating a neglected but relevant chapter in the history of women's education."--Library Journal "Turk presents a mostly balanced treatment of women's fraternities. She fills in gaps left behind by previous scholars."--American Historical Review

Introduction : fraternities' past and historians' presentp. 1
Of serious mind and purpose : the first generation of fraternity womenp. 13
The most socially eligible : "at home" with the second generation of fraternity womenp. 43
A national society to rank with the first in America : expansion and exclusion in the women's Greek systemp. 81
In search of unity : fostering "high ideals" in the face of antifraternity sentiment, 1910-1920p. 113
Once a sister, always a sister : fraternity membership in the postcollege yearsp. 141
Bound by a mighty vow : the costs and benefits of fraternity membership, 1870-1920p. 157
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780814782750
ISBN-10: 0814782752
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 251
Published: 1st June 2004
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.88  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.48