The process of industrialization, which began in the United States during the early nineteenth century, had an enormous impact on American constructions of masculinity. It complicated preindustrial notions of manhood based on male patriarchal control over family and household, while also generating new and often class-based definitions of gender. For some segments of the male population, industrialization eroded two critical foundations of preindustrial male patriarchy: It reduced the importance of property ownership and moved productive, income-generating labor out of the home. In doing so, it opened up opportunities for social and cultural experimentation with definitions of manhood both in and outside the workplace. Men were able to shape these new articulations of masculinity to some extent, but the impact of industrialization on their work ...

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