M. Christine Anderson discusses the usefulness of Justina Segale’s journal as a tool to teach undergraduates about women’s changing roles in the early twentieth century. Examples from the journal are cited. Similarities and differences between Segale and the “new woman” are discussed. While women’s entrance into the professions of teaching, nursing, and social work is often held up as a new development of the Progressive era, Catholic women religious had long been trained for these occupations. In her social service and educational capacities, Segale illustrates the complexity of women’s roles in this era. Anderson contrasts Segale’s experience and perspective working among immigrants with those of secular women doing the same work, such as Jane Addams. Segale’s ethnographic writing is more personal than sociological, with narratives and anecdotes that provide a window into individual lives. Finally, the journal “challenges assumptions about poor immigrants, about women in general, and women religious in particular.”
Anderson, M. Christine Ph.D.
"Sister Justina Segale and the New Woman: Tradition and Change in the Progressive Era,"
Vincentian Heritage Journal: Vol. 33:
2, Article 5.
Available at: https://via.library.depaul.edu/vhj/vol33/iss2/5