Must Social Workers Fight for Social Reform?
How social work embodies its commitment to social justice has always been fluid. The history of the profession fluctuates between a focus on system and individual social problems.
“White Slavery” and the Policing of Domestic Life
In the early 20th century, journalistic exposés, novels, and vice commission reports trumpeted fears about "white slavery" sweeping the country.
Jane Addams’s Crusade Against Victorian “Dancing Girls”
Jane Addams, a leading Victorian-era reformer, believed dance halls were “one of the great pitfalls of the city.”
The Healthcare Wars of 1920s Harlem
In the 1920s, Harlem’s population was growing quickly. A wide variety of “magico-religious workers” emerged to respond to the community’s needs.
How Schools Got into the Job-Prep Business
Training skilled workers within a school system was a way to sell ordinary workers on the value of the industrial system and thwart union recruiting.
Public Baths Were Meant to Uplift the Poor
In Progressive-Era New York, a now-forgotten trend of public bathhouses was introduced in order to cleanse the unwashed masses.
The 19th-Century Activist Who Tried to Transform Teaching
Margaret Haley argued for unionization, insisting that “there is no possible conflict between the interest of the child and the interest of the teacher.”
The Saturday Evening Girls’ Guide to Helping Immigrants Succeed
The “Saturday Evening Girls" was a Progressive-Era club that afforded urban, Jewish and Italian girls and women a chance at coveted social mobility.
Why We Make Doctors Get Licenses
We might question why barbers or florists need licenses. But almost everyone would agree that doctors ought to be licensed.
Has the Famous Populist “Cross of Gold” Speech Been Unfairly Tarred by Anti-Semitism?
July 9 marks the 120th anniversary of Populist leader William Jennings Bryan’s famous "Cross of Gold" speech at the 1896 Democratic National Convention.