Laborers, Servants, and Schools: Aspirations of Mobility and the Reproduction of Inequality in Boston, 1880-1940
Comment: John McClymer, Assumption College
This paper traces the shift in the central site of preparation for work from informal on-the-job training in the late 19th century to formal schooling by the 1930s, using the city of Boston to illustrate this transformation. The work argues that during this period, education as a path to social advancement was forged as a central tenet of American democracy. Yet this shift affected groups unevenly, and the expansion of education perpetuated some social hierarchies.
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