Laughlin, Kathleen A.

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Laughlin, Kathleen A.

PERSONAL:

Female.

ADDRESSES:

E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Metropolitan State University, St. Paul, MN, professor and chair of history department.

WRITINGS:

Women's Work and Public Policy: A History of the Women's Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor, 1945-1970, Northeastern University Press (Boston, MA), 2000.

SIDELIGHTS:

History professor Kathleen A. Laughlin is also the author of the 2000 study Women's Work and Public Policy: A History of the Women's Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor, 1945-1970. As Eileen Boris and Susan M. Hartmann pointed out in a NWSA Journal review of that work, for Laughlin the "Women's Bureau of the United States Department of Labor sustained women's policy activism between World War II and the 1970s by ‘linking government and the grassroots.’" The Women's Bureau endured through several administrations, but its mission remained the same: to promote workplace equality, or at least parity, through research, conferences, publicity, and direct action. Also reviewing Women's Work and Public Policy in the NWSA Journal, Colette A. Hyman commented: "Taking us deep into the recesses of federal bureaucracy, into the U.S. Women's Bureau, an office of the Department of Labor, Laughlin's monograph explores the Bureau's effectiveness." Hyman further observed: "Ironically, … the Women's Bureau and its directors grew increasingly distant from the re-emerging women's movement in the 1960s." However, as Boris and Hartman observed: "Laughlin objects to interpretations that dismiss the Bureau as an obstacle to the new feminism because it continued to portray women as different from men." Boris and Hartman praised Laughlin's "fine explication of the Bureau, its personnel, and policies."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

NWSA Journal, fall, 2001, Colette A. Hyman, review of Women's Work and Public Policy: A History of the Women's Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor, 1945-1970, p. 189; spring, 2002, Eileen Boris and Susan M. Hartmann, review of Women's Work and Public Policy, p. 201.