The field of family and consumer sciences is an offshoot of home economics, which entered the public psyche in the mid-1800s, chiefly through the efforts of Catherine Beecher Stowe, who believed that women should be educated in the domestic sciences. By the middle of the century, there was a push to add “dom sci,” as it was called, to the curricula of land-grant colleges, so that women would be prepared to help husbands run family farms. In the late 19th century, Ellen Swallow Richards began applying scientific methods to domestic work and gave birth to the home economics movement. Despite its continued association with home economics, the contemporary field of family and consumer sciences has a broader reach that combines social and natural sciences to ...

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