‘The True Spirit of Service’: Toys as Tools of Ideology at the Dorchester Industrial School for Girls

Author(s): Sarah Johnson

Year: 2018

Summary

This paper examines the role of ceramics, as both teaching tools and toys, in identity formation at the Industrial School for Girls in Dorchester, Massachusetts. The School, which opened in Dorchester in 1859, had the goal of training girls from impoverished backgrounds to be domestic servants, and as such, the material culture at the School would have been important in reinforcing or contradicting the social roles that these girls were being taught to inhabit. Using adult and doll scale ceramics, as well as the School’s annual reports and demographic records, I will attempt to reconstruct how the girls were taught to think and behave, and how possible stylistic differences between these two scales of ceramics either enforced or contradicted the sense of their place in the world that the School attempted to impart.

Cite this Record

‘The True Spirit of Service’: Toys as Tools of Ideology at the Dorchester Industrial School for Girls. Sarah Johnson. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2018 ( tDAR id: 441791)

Keywords

Temporal Keywords
Nineteenth Century

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 490