Matching youth and jobs? Gender dynamics in new deal job training programs

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

State theorists have examined the gender implications of various New Deal social policies, but few researchers have analyzed federal job training programs, which formed a key component of New Deal policies. Drawing on different theories of the state I analyze whether federal policy goals matched local policy outcomes (n =337 counties) in three southern states. Federal vocational policy expanded educational opportunities during the New Deal, but it did so in a gender-specific manner fundamentally shaped by structural changes in the region's economy. Thus, results are mixed. Policy outcomes matched goals in the sense that women's access to vocational training remained narrowly constrained, despite increased funding for women's programs. Additional funds mostly benefitted men's programs. But contrary to congressional intent, access to programs remained disconnected from local labor markets. Instead, employment opportunities in the domestic sector had a profound impact on enrollment dynamics, while changes in the organization of production via mechanization and industrialization made vocational programs more male dominated than ever.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-503
Number of pages31
JournalSocial Forces
Volume81
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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