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Female Medical Missionaries : Using Traditional Roles to Transcend the Status Quo

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Author(s)
Bartlett, Melissa
Advisor(s)
Turner, Patricia R.; Gough, Robert (Robert J.)
Date
Jul 17, 2009
Subject(s)
Missionaries, Medical--History--Sources; Women missionaries--History--Sources; Sex role--Religious aspects; Sex role in the work environment
Series
USGZE AS333
Abstract
This paper examines the role of female medical missionaries during the first half of the twentieth century. Female medical missionaries worked within the traditional roles of the time such as caring for the sick, injured, and less fortunate by nursing them back to health. However, they also expanded traditional roles for women by having careers as nurses, traveling thousands of miles around the world, assuming leadership roles, and becoming independent, competent, and self-sufficient people. The duality of their roles, part traditional and part radical, made female medical missionaries pioneers for other generations of women to follow. By analyzing the personal papers, letters, diaries, and autobiographies of several female medical missionaries, this paper documents the ways in which they transformed conventional female roles into new and expanded roles outside of the home and family. In addition, it explores how female medical missionaries, through their medical mission work, were able to fulfill a moral, Christian obligation while at the same time utilizing their medical skills to increase their professional and personal opportunities.
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http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1793/35534 
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