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Mothers of ConservatismWomen and the Postwar Right$
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Michelle M. Nickerson

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691121840

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691121840.001.0001

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Education or Indoctrination?

Education or Indoctrination?

Conservative Female Activism in the Los Angeles Public Schools

(p.69) Chapter III Education or Indoctrination?
Mothers of Conservatism

Michelle M. Nickerson

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on a series of educational battles in the early 1950s that reveal the step-by-step process of how political ideas germinated in the fabric of women's everyday lives. Starting with the “Pasadena affair” of 1950, it shows how new ideas about “mind control” and “brainwashing” inspired political epiphanies among women otherwise busy with their children's homework and PTA duties. Parents, especially mothers, started to think they saw communism in action. For a few years, conservative women asserted themselves in school politics as activists and school board members in Southern California, forcing teachers to resign and blocking policies they deemed subversive.

Keywords:   conservative movement, Pasadena affair, mind control, brainwashing, communism, conservative women, school politics, Southern California, women activists

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