"Seminal women": Women in science in the Canadian federal Department of Agriculture, 1884 to 1921.

Title: "Seminal women": Women in science in the Canadian federal Department of Agriculture, 1884 to 1921.
Authors: Lloydlangston, Amber.
Date: 2002
Abstract: As historian Marianne Ainley maintains in the introduction to Despite the Odds: Essays on Canadian Women in Science, the way in which science is practised and institutionalized has an impact upon the careers of men and women. The purpose of this thesis then is to determine the type of science, and the ways of practising it, employed within the Canadian federal Department of Agriculture. What conscious and subconscious factors influenced the scientific and methodological choices of the leaders of the Department? How did this, in turn, influence the opportunities of women to become involved in science in the years 1884 to 1921? The thesis argues that the professionalization and bureaucratization of science in the Department of Agriculture created distinct opportunities for such involvement, but it also confined them to specific jobs deemed appropriate for their sex. Because the science that was first undertaken in the Department beginning in 1884 emerged from the natural history tradition, women first contributed as unpaid "amateur" observers, collectors, and correspondents. As science professionalized and bureaucratized in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, however, the contributions of unpaid "amateurs" were no longer desired or needed. At this juncture, women were employed as paid assistants and members of the support staff As civil servants, women entered an organization that was undergoing a process of reform and bureaucratizing. As a result, women were subjected to hierarchical and lateral segregation. Women's employment in science in the federal Department of Agriculture followed this pattern. Employed to undertake technical work in seed analysis and scientific work in botany, chemistry, and librarianship in the Department, women were confined to 'women's work' in science. They performed tasks which were undervalued, underpaid, and offered little or no opportunity for advancement, and were, therefore, rejected by men. Over the almost forty year period covered in this thesis, in both peace and war, the work of women followed this pattern. Satisfying the demands generated by the professionalization and bureaucratization of science as well as the reform and bureaucratization of the federal civil service, women were a pivotal part of the scientific workforce of the Canadian federal Department of Agriculture from 1884 to 1921.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/6259
CollectionTh├Ęses, 1910 - 2010 // Theses, 1910 - 2010
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