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Oral History Interview with Guion Griffis Johnson, May 17, 1974. Interview G-0029-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    Guion Griffis Johnson was born and raised in Texas. She graduated in 1923 from the University of Missouri with a degree in journalism before moving to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with her husband, Guy Johnson. Johnson studied sociology at the University of North Carolina, graduating with her Ph.D. in 1927. While at UNC, both Johnson and her husband worked with the Institute for Research in Social Science. Johnson began to establish her career by studying poor and disadvantaged people in the South and race relations. In this interview, Johnson focuses primarily on her involvement with the women's movement and her efforts to balance work and family. Growing up in a family that had progressive beliefs about race and gender, Johnson was immersed in the women's suffrage movement. Encouraged by her mother to become economically independent, Johnson married a man whom she describes as supportive of her desire to have a career. The Johnsons began their family in the late 1920s; Johnson describes the challenges of balancing family and career during those years. In so doing, she emphasizes the importance of having outside help for childcare and housekeeping and the support of her husband and employers. In addition, Johnson discusses the changing role of women in American society during the twentieth century, focusing on such topics as her involvement in women's voluntary organizations; the impact of advances in birth control and abortion; and the evolving nature of marriage, divorce, and family.
  • Comparing the oppression of women and African Americans in the south in the early 1920s
  • Progressive views on race and gender instilled during childhood in Texas
  • Balancing work and family
  • Husband's support of career and efforts to balance work and family
  • Relationship of men to the women's movement in marriage and at work
  • Impact of federal efforts to push women back into the home after WWII
  • Impact of birth control and abortion on women's lives
  • Changing nature of marriage and divorce in the 1970s
  • Finding power in women's volunteer groups
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Resources for Educators
  • Southern Women Trailblazers Learning Object
  • Subjects
  • Trade-unions--Officials and employees--Southern States--Education
  • Young Women's Christian associations
  • The Southern Oral History Program transcripts presented here on Documenting the American South undergo an editorial process to remove transcription errors. Texts may differ from the original transcripts held by the Southern Historical Collection.

    Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.