Historical Social Research

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Kitae Sohn: The Living Arrangements of U.S. Teachers, 1860-1910. [Abstract]

Most of the historical research on the daily lives of US teachers relies on qualitative sources such as diaries, letters, memoirs, and missionary reports. Using the US census data from 1860 to 1910, this paper attempts to go beyond sketching impressions of their daily lives, focusing instead on the living arrangements of teachers by region, gender, and race. The main result is that about 70 percent of teachers lived in a nuclear family and 15 percent of them lived with non-relatives; this is more or less true regardless of regions, genders, and races. In addition to descriptive analyses, a multinomial logit model is applied to provide a more systematic way of finding the determinants of the living arrangements and measuring the sizes of their effects. This paper demonstrates a possibility of deepening our understanding of the daily lives of teachers in the past by combining nationally representative data with topics of daily lives.