Making of an Ethnic Middle Class
Portland Jewry over Four Generations
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The Making of an Ethnic Middle Class explains how European Jews of diverse cultural and social backgrounds coalesced over four generations into a middle-class community. By utilizing numerous oral histories to complement statistical data from public sources such as the federal manuscript censuses and public school enrollment cards, William Toll has succeeded in tracing in minute detail the contours of change. The study focuses particularly on the role of women to demonstrate how dramatic changes in the size and composition of the family and in sex roles, more than changes in the workplace, eroded European traditions.
William Toll teaches American Jewish history at the University of Oregon.