Social Work and Social Order: The Settlement Movement in Two Industrial Cities, 1889-1930
Progressive era settlements actively sought urban reform, but they also functioned as missionaries for the "American Way", which often called for religious conversion of immigrants and frequently was intolerant of cultural pluralism. Ruth Hutchinson Crocker examines the programs, personnel, and philosophy of seven settlements in Indianapolis and Gary, Indiana, creating a vivid picture of operations that strove for social order even as they created new social services. The author reconnects social work history to labor history and to the history of immigrants, blacks, and women. She shows how the settlements' vision of reform for working-class women concentrated on "restoring home life" rather than on women's rights. She also argues that, while individual settlement leaders such as Jane Addams were racial progressives, the settlement movement took shape within a context of deepening racial segregation. Settlements, Crocker says, were part of a wider movement to discipline and modernize a racially and ethnically heterogeneous work force. How they translated their goals into programs for immigrants, blacks, and the native born is woven into a study that will be of interest to students of social history and progressivism, as well as social work.
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