Home Economics
Home economics is the profession
A profession is a vocation founded upon specialized educational training, the purpose of which is to supply disinterested counsel and service to others, for a direct and definite compensation, wholly apart from expectation of other business gain....

 and field of study that deals with the economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

 and management of the home and community. Home economics is a field of formal study including such topics as consumer education
Consumer education
Consumer education is the preparation of an individual through skills, concepts and understanding that are required for everyday living to achieve maximum satisfaction and utilization of his resources....

, institutional management, interior design
Interior design
Interior design describes a group of various yet related projects that involve turning an interior space into an effective setting for the range of human activities are to take place there. An interior designer is someone who conducts such projects...

, home furnishing, cleaning, handicraft
Handicraft, more precisely expressed as artisanic handicraft, sometimes also called artisanry, is a type of work where useful and decorative devices are made completely by hand or by using only simple tools. It is a traditional main sector of craft. Usually the term is applied to traditional means...

s, sewing
Sewing is the craft of fastening or attaching objects using stitches made with a needle and thread. Sewing is one of the oldest of the textile arts, arising in the Paleolithic era...

, clothing and textiles, commercial cooking, cooking
Cooking is the process of preparing food by use of heat. Cooking techniques and ingredients vary widely across the world, reflecting unique environmental, economic, and cultural traditions. Cooks themselves also vary widely in skill and training...

, nutrition
Nutrition is the provision, to cells and organisms, of the materials necessary to support life. Many common health problems can be prevented or alleviated with a healthy diet....

, food preservation
Food preservation
Food preservation is the process of treating and handling food to stop or slow down spoilage and thus allow for longer storage....

, hygiene
Hygiene refers to the set of practices perceived by a community to be associated with the preservation of health and healthy living. While in modern medical sciences there is a set of standards of hygiene recommended for different situations, what is considered hygienic or not can vary between...

, child development
Child development
Child development stages describe theoretical milestones of child development. Many stage models of development have been proposed, used as working concepts and in some cases asserted as nativist theories....

, managing money, and family relationships.

Sexual education and drug awareness might be also covered, along with topics such as fire prevention and safety procedures. It prepares students for homemaking or professional careers, or to assist in preparing to fulfill real-life responsibilities at home. It is taught in secondary school
Secondary school
Secondary school is a term used to describe an educational institution where the final stage of schooling, known as secondary education and usually compulsory up to a specified age, takes place...

s, college
A college is an educational institution or a constituent part of an educational institution. Usage varies in English-speaking nations...

s and universities
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

, vocational school
Vocational school
A vocational school , providing vocational education, is a school in which students are taught the skills needed to perform a particular job...

s, and in adult education centers; students include women and men.

In the 19th century, home economics classes were intended to ready young women for their duties in the home. Classes were first offered in the United States, Canada and Great Britain, followed by Latin America, Asia, and Africa. International organizations such as those associated with the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 have been involved in starting home economics programs around the world.


The preferred name of the field of study and profession is Home Economics. Internationally, the field of study has consistently retained the name Home Economics and is recognised both within and beyond the boundaries of the profession.


Situated in the human sciences, home economics draws from a range of disciplines to achieve optimal and sustainable living for individuals, families, and communities. Historically, home economics has been in the context of the home
A home is a place of residence or refuge. When it refers to a building, it is usually a place in which an individual or a family can rest and store personal property. Most modern-day households contain sanitary facilities and a means of preparing food. Animals have their own homes as well, either...

 and household
The household is "the basic residential unit in which economic production, consumption, inheritance, child rearing, and shelter are organized and carried out"; [the household] "may or may not be synonymous with family"....

, but this has extended in the 21st century to include the wider living environments as we better understand that the capacities, choices, and priorities of individuals and families impact at all levels, ranging from the household to the local and the global community. Home economists are concerned with promoting and protecting the well-being of individuals, families, and communities; they facilitate the development of attributes for lifelong learning for paid, unpaid, and voluntary work. Home economics professionals are advocates for individuals, families, and communities.

The content of home economics comes from the synthesis of multiple disciplines. This interdisciplinary knowledge is essential because the phenomena and challenges of everyday life are not typically one-dimensional. The content of home economics courses varies, but might include: food
Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals...

, nutrition
Nutrition is the provision, to cells and organisms, of the materials necessary to support life. Many common health problems can be prevented or alleviated with a healthy diet....

, and health
Health is the level of functional or metabolic efficiency of a living being. In humans, it is the general condition of a person's mind, body and spirit, usually meaning to be free from illness, injury or pain...

; personal finance; family resource management; textiles and clothing
Clothing refers to any covering for the human body that is worn. The wearing of clothing is exclusively a human characteristic and is a feature of nearly all human societies...

; shelter and housing; consumerism
Consumerism is a social and economic order that is based on the systematic creation and fostering of a desire to purchase goods and services in ever greater amounts. The term is often associated with criticisms of consumption starting with Thorstein Veblen...

 and consumer science; household management; design and technology; food science and hospitality
Hospitality is the relationship between guest and host, or the act or practice of being hospitable. Specifically, this includes the reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers, resorts, membership clubs, conventions, attractions, special events, and other services for travelers...

; human development
Developmental psychology
Developmental psychology, also known as human development, is the scientific study of systematic psychological changes, emotional changes, and perception changes that occur in human beings over the course of their life span. Originally concerned with infants and children, the field has expanded to...

 and family studies; education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

 and community services, among others. The capacity to draw from such disciplinary diversity is a strength of the profession, allowing for the development of specific interpretations of the field, as relevant to the context.

Areas of practice

It is also called Human sciences based on everyday work where the setting is our house.
Home economics can be clarified by four dimensions or areas of practice:
  • as an academic discipline to educate new scholars, to conduct research and to create new knowledge and ways of thinking for professionals and for society
  • as an arena for everyday living in households, families and communities for developing human growth potential and human necessities or basic needs to be met
  • as a curriculum area that facilitates students to discover and further develop their own resources and capabilities to be used in their personal life, by directing their professional decisions and actions or preparing them for life
  • as a societal arena to influence and develop policy to advocate for individuals, families and communities to achieve empowerment and wellbeing, to utilize transformative practices, and to facilitate sustainable futures.

To be successful in these four dimensions of practice means that the profession is constantly evolving, and there will always be new ways of performing the profession. This is an important characteristic of the profession, linking with the 21st century requirement for all people to be "expert novices", that is, good at learning new things, given that society is constantly and rapidly changing with new and emergent issues and challenges.
Human science is Human science.

Historical skills

In the past, household skills included: herbal medicine, converting hide into leather, soap making, spinning yarn and thread, weaving cloth and rugs, and patchwork quilting. More skills were cooking on a wood burning stove, churning butter, baking bread, and preserving food by drying and by glass-jar canning.


Home cleaning can be analyzed into four parts: litter removal, storage of belongings, dusting, and washing of surfaces. Laundry is a separate subject. Washing of surfaces is the most dangerous and complicated part because of the cleaning solutions. For example, hard water deposits are cleaned with acid solutions and dirt is cleaned with alkaline solutions; they both harm the skin and both weaken each other. Mixing chlorine bleach and ammonia together forms toxic gas. Solvents including paint thinner and rubbing alcohol are toxic and flammable. Disinfectants are poisonous. Even dish water requires rubber gloves.


The home economist deals with money. A budget is a plan of what to spend on based on gathered facts. Being frugal includes buying the inexpensive brand. Credit is lending. Budgeting how much to spend with a credit card is done, as well as how much to save each paycheck toward a car. Investments are ways to store extra money. They include bank accounts. Taxpayers sometimes get audited and show financial records to government officials.


The leading national professional organization for home economics in the United States is the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences
American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences
American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences is an American professional association that networks professionals in the area of family and consumer science. It was founded in 1909 as the American Home Economics Association by Ellen H. Richards...

. The leading international organization home economics is the International Federation for Home Economics (IFHE)

Home Economics is a vital profession currently enjoying renewed attention in the present era. Our contemporary world is characterised as one of unprecedented transition from industrial to knowledge-based culture and globalised economy, with all encompassing effects on society and culture. The information age is complex, diverse and unpredictable, yet has a strong commitment to retaining those elements of society that are valued, while looking ahead to the imperative of improving the world in which we all live such that sustainable development is possible. Herein lies the potential for Home Economics and the reason for renewed attention to the field of study, as this is the key imperative of the profession.

Examples of enacting the transformative powers of home economics professionals include:
  • Home economics professionals were instrumental to instituting the 1994 International Year of the Family which centred ‘family’ as a political issue and has impacted on family life in many countries of the world
  • Poverty alleviation, gender equality and social justice concerns are a priority of home economics professionals, with many projects and initiatives conducted in such areas
  • IFHE, or the International Federation for Home Economics, is an International Non Governmental Organization (INGO), having consultative status with the United Nations (ECOSOC, FAO, UNESCO, UNISEF) and with the Council of Europe
  • Home economists partner with other Non-Governmental Organisations to improve the lot of families world wide. Specific areas of collaboration/cooperation include: Peace Education, gender issues/ women’s empowerment, women’s reproductive issues, HIV/AIDS, intervention projects for families in distress and other human rights issues
  • Home economists are active in lobbying for issues that will improve the well-being of a diversity of families and households
  • Home economists serve as consultants in major businesses and organizations dealing with personal home economics, care and consumer services. They are also active entrepreneurs in their own rights
  • The current four-year theme on sustainable development for World Home Economics Day is a strong stand that impacts on family life positively
  • Home economists are strong advocates for individual and family well-being worldwide, evident in for example the development of relevant curricula for schools and universities.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.