"A wonderful compendium of everything you always wanted to know about trends in women's roles—both in and out of the home. It is a balanced and data-rich assessment of how far women have come and how far they still have to go. "—Isabelle Sawhill, Urban Institute "Based primarily on the 1990 population census, Balancing Act reports on the current situation of American women and temporal and cross-national comparisons. Meticulously and clearly presented, the information in this book highlights changing behaviors, such as the growing incidence of childbearing to older women, and unmarried women in general, and a higher ratio of women's earnings to men's. The authors' thoughtful analysis of these and other factors involved in women's fin de siècle 'balancing act' make this an indispensable reference book and valuable classroom resource." —Louise A. Tilly, Michael E. Gellert Professor of History and Sociology, The New School for Social Research In Balancing Act, authors Daphne Spain and Suzanne Bianchi draw upon multiple census and survey sources to detail the shifting conditions under which women manage their roles as mothers, wives, and breadwinners. They chronicle the progress made in education—where female college enrollment now exceeds that of males—and the workforce, where women have entered a wider variety of occupations and are staying on the job longer, even after becoming wives and mothers. But despite progress, lower-paying service and clerical positions remain predominantly female, and although the salary gap between men and women has shrunk, women are still paid less. As women continue to establish a greater presence outside the home, many have delayed marriage and motherhood. Marked jumps in divorce and out-of-wedlock childbirth have given rise to significant numbers of female-headed households. Married women who work contribute more significantly than ever to the financial well-being of their families, yet evidence shows that they continue to perform most household chores. Balancing Act focuses on how American women juggle the simultaneous demands of caregiving and wage earning, and compares their options to those of women in other countries. The United States is the only industrialized nation without policies to support working mothers and their families—most tellingly in the absence of subsidized childcare services. Many women are forced to work in less rewarding part-time or traditionally female jobs that allow easy exit and re-entry, and as a consequence poverty is the single greatest danger facing American women. As the authors show, the risk of poverty varies significantly by race and ethnicity, with African Americans—most of whose children live in mother-only families—the most adversely affected. This volume contributes to the national dialogue about family policy, welfare reform, and responsibility for children by highlighting the pivotal roles women play at the intersection of family and work.
With the introduction of more aggressive policing, prosecution, and sentencing since the late 1970s, the number of Americans in prison has increased dramatically. While many have credited these "get tough" policies with lowering violent crime rates, we are only just beginning to understand the broader costs of mass incarceration. In Barriers to Reentry? experts on labor markets and the criminal justice system investigate how imprisonment affects ex-offenders' employment prospects, and how the challenge of finding work after prison affects the likelihood that they will break the law again and return to prison. The authors examine the intersection of imprisonment and employment from many vantage points, including employer surveys, interviews with former prisoners, and state data on prison employment programs and post-incarceration employment rates. Ex-prisoners face many obstacles to re-entering the job market—from employers' fears of negligent hiring lawsuits to the lost opportunities for acquiring work experience while incarcerated. In a study of former prisoners, Becky Pettit and Christopher Lyons find that employment among this group was actually higher immediately after their release than before they were incarcerated, but that over time their employment rate dropped to their pre-imprisonment levels. Exploring the demand side of the equation, Harry Holzer, Steven Raphael, and Michael Stoll report on their survey of employers in Los Angeles about the hiring of former criminals, in which they find strong evidence of pervasive hiring discrimination against ex-prisoners. Devah Pager finds similar evidence of employer discrimination in an experiment in which Milwaukee employers were presented with applications for otherwise comparable jobseekers, some of whom had criminal records and some of whom did not. Such findings are particularly troubling in light of research by Steven Raphael and David Weiman which shows that ex-criminals are more likely to violate parole if they are unemployed. In a concluding chapter, Bruce Western warns that prison is becoming the norm for too many inner-city minority males; by preventing access to the labor market, mass incarceration is exacerbating inequality. Western argues that, ultimately, the most successful policies are those that keep young men out of prison in the first place. Promoting social justice and reducing recidivism both demand greater efforts to reintegrate former prisoners into the workforce. Barriers to Reentry? cogently underscores one of the major social costs of incarceration, and builds a compelling case for rethinking the way our country rehabilitates criminals.
In a society where everyone is supposed to go to college, the problems facing high school graduates who do not continue their education are often forgotten. Many cannot find jobs, and those who do are often stuck in low-wage, dead-end positions. Meanwhile employers complain that high school graduates lack the necessary skills for today's workplace. Beyond College for All focuses on this crisis in the American labor market. Around the world, author James E. Rosenbaum finds, employers view high school graduates as valuable workers. Why not here? Rosenbaum reports on new studies of the interaction between employers and high schools in the United States. He concludes that each fails to communicate its needs to the other, leading to a predictable array of problems for young people in the years after graduation. High schools caught up in the college-for-all myth, provide little job advice or preparation, leading students to make unrealistic plans and hampering both students who do not go to college and those who start college but do not finish. Employers say they care about academic skills, but then do not consider grades when deciding whom to hire. Faced with few incentives to achieve, many students lapse into precisely the kinds of habits employers deplore, doing as little as possible in high school and developing poor attitudes. Rosenbaum contrasts the situation in the United States with that of two other industrialized nations-Japan and Germany-which have formal systems for aiding young people who are looking for employment. Virtually all Japanese high school graduates obtain work, and in Germany, eighteen-year-olds routinely hold responsible jobs. While the American system lacks such formal linkages, Rosenbaum uncovers an encouraging hidden system that helps many high school graduates find work. He shows that some American teachers, particularly vocational teachers, create informal networks with employers to guide students into the labor market. Enterprising employers have figures out how to use these networks to meet their labor needs, while students themselves can take steps to increase their ability to land desirable jobs. Beyond College for All suggests new policies based on such practices. Rosenbaum presents a compelling case that the problems faced by American high school graduates and employers can be solved if young people, employers, and high schools build upon existing informal networks to create formal paths for students to enter the world of work. A Volume in the American Sociological Association's Rose Series in Sociology
More so than any war in history, World War II was a woman’s war. Women, motivated by patriotism, the opportunity for new experiences, and the desire to serve, participated widely in the global conflict. Within the Allied countries, women of all ages proved to be invaluable in the fight for victory. Rosie the Riveter became the most enduring image of women’s involvement in World War II. What Rosie represented, however, is only a small portion of a complex story. As wartime production workers, enlistees in auxiliary military units, members of voluntary organizations or resistance groups, wives and mothers on the home front, journalists, and USO performers, American women found ways to challenge traditional gender roles and stereotypes.
Beyond Rosie offers readers an opportunity to see the numerous contributions they made to the fight against the Axis powers and how American women’s roles changed during the war. The primary documents (newspapers, propaganda posters, cartoons, excerpts from oral histories and memoirs, speeches, photographs, and editorials) collected here represent cultural, political, economic, and social perspectives on the diverse roles women played during World War II.
Ellen Israel Rosen presents a compelling portrait of married women who work on New England's assembly lines while they also maintain their homes and marriages. With skill and sympathy, she documents the reasons these women work; their experiences on the job, in the union, and at home; the sources of their job satisfaction; and their management of the "double day." The major issue for this segment of the labor force, Rosen suggests, is not whether to work, but the availability and quality of jobs. Rosen argues that deindustrialization—plant closings and job displacement—confronts blue-collar women factory workers with a "bitter choice" between work at lower and lower wages or no work at all.
Drawing on quantitative and qualitative data from interviews with more than two hundred such women factory workers, Rosen traces the ways in which women who do "unskilled" factory work have gained in self-esteem as well as financial stability from holding paid jobs. Throughout, Rosen explores the relationship between public work experiences and private family life. She analyzes the dynamics of two-paycheck, working class families, clarifies relationships between class and gender, and explores the impact of patriarchy and capitalism on working class women. At the same time Rosen places women's job loss within the broader economic context of global industrial transformations, demonstrating how international capital shifts to cheaper labor in developing countries, as well as technological progress, are changing the shape of the entire American labor force and are beginning to undermine the material and symbolic gains of the American female factory worker, the promise of market equality, and progressive working conditions.
"This book is a significant contribution to our understanding of women's work and family lives, but it is also a valuable look at the consequences of deindustrialization in America for workers, their families, and their communities."—Myra Marx Ferree, American Journal of Sociology
Other historians have tended to treat black urban life mainly in relation to the ghetto experience, but in Black Milwaukee, Joe William Trotter Jr. offers a new perspective that complements yet also goes well beyond that approach. The blacks in Black Milwaukee were not only ghetto dwellers; they were also industrial workers. The process by which they achieved this status is the subject of Trotter’s ground-breaking study.
This second edition features a new preface and acknowledgments, an essay on African American urban history since 1985, a prologue on the antebellum and Civil War roots of Milwaukee’s black community, and an epilogue on the post-World War II years and the impact of deindustrialization, all by the author. Brief essays by four of Trotter’s colleagues--William P. Jones, Earl Lewis, Alison Isenberg, and Kimberly L. Phillips--assess the impact of the original Black Milwaukee on the study of African American urban history over the past twenty years.
This long-awaited volume is the first set of annotated oral interviews from the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement to be undertaken by the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Interviewees recount their struggles against discrimination both in and outside of the workplace, showing how collective action, whether through unions, the Movement, or networks of workplace activists, sought to gain access to better jobs, municipal services, housing, and less restrictive voter registration. Black Workers’ Struggle for Equality in Birmingham is a powerful work that reconsiders the links of the labor movement to the struggle for civil rights.
The Black Youth Employment Crisis
Edited by Richard B. Freeman and Harry J. Holzer University of Chicago Press, 1986 Library of Congress HD6273.B57 1986 | Dewey Decimal 331.346396073
In recent years, the earnings of young blacks have risen substantially relative to those of young whites, but their rates of joblessness have also risen to crisis levels. The papers in this volume, drawing on the results of a groundbreaking survey conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research, analyze the history, causes, and features of this crisis. The findings they report and conclusions they reach revise accepted explanations of black youth unemployment.
The contributors identify primary determinants on both the demand and supply sides of the market and provide new information on important aspects of the problem, such as drug use, crime, economic incentives, and attitudes among the unemployed. Their studies reveal that, contrary to popular assumptions, no single factor is the predominant cause of black youth employment problems. They show, among other significant factors, that where female employment is high, black youth employment is low; that even in areas where there are many jobs, black youths get relatively few of them; that the perceived risks and rewards of crime affect decisions to work or to engage in illegal activity; and that churchgoing and aspirations affect the success of black youths in finding employment.
Altogether, these papers illuminate a broad range of economic and social factors which must be understood by policymakers before the black youth employment crisis can be successfully addressed.
Both Hands Tied studies the working poor in the United States, focusing in particular on the relation between welfare and low-wage earnings among working mothers. Grounded in the experience of thirty-three women living in Milwaukee and Racine, Wisconsin, it tells the story of their struggle to balance child care and wage-earning in poorly paying and often state-funded jobs with inflexible schedules—and the moments when these jobs failed them and they turned to the state for additional aid.
Jane L. Collins and Victoria Mayer here examine the situations of these women in light of the 1996 national Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act and other like-minded reforms—laws that ended the entitlement to welfare for those in need and provided an incentive for them to return to work. Arguing that this reform came at a time of gendered change in the labor force and profound shifts in the responsibilities of family, firms, and the state, Both Hands Tied provides a stark but poignant portrait of how welfare reform afflicted poor, single-parent families, ultimately eroding the participants’ economic rights and affecting their ability to care for themselves and their children.
Laura Levine Frader’s synthesis of labor history and gender history brings to the fore failures in realizing the French social model of equality for all citizens. Challenging previous scholarship, she argues that the male breadwinner ideal was stronger in France in the interwar years than scholars have typically recognized, and that it had negative consequences for women’s claims to the full benefits of citizenship. She describes how ideas about masculinity, femininity, family, and work affected post–World War I reconstruction, policies designed to address France’s postwar population deficit, and efforts to redefine citizenship in the 1920s and 1930s. She demonstrates that gender divisions and the male breadwinner ideal were reaffirmed through the policies and practices of labor, management, and government. The social model that France implemented in the 1920s and 1930s incorporated fundamental social inequalities.
Frader’s analysis moves between the everyday lives of ordinary working women and men and the actions of national policymakers, political parties, and political movements, including feminists, pro-natalists, and trade unionists. In the years following World War I, the many women and an increasing number of immigrant men in the labor force competed for employment and pay. Family policy was used not only to encourage reproduction but also to regulate wages and the size of the workforce. Policies to promote married women’s and immigrants’ departure from the labor force were more common when jobs were scarce, as they were during the Depression. Frader contends that gender and ethnicity exerted a powerful and unacknowledged influence on French social policy during the Depression era and for decades afterward.
This study of feminist labor reform examines how working women pursued equality by claiming new identities for themselves as citizens and as breadwinners. Lara Vapnek tells the story of American labor feminism from the end of the Civil War through the winning of woman suffrage rights, a period in which working women in the nation's industrializing cities launched a series of campaigns to gain economic equality and political power.
Focusing particularly on disjunctions between middle-class and working-class women's notions of independence, Vapnek highlights the specific contributions of reformers such as Jennie Collins, Leonora O'Reilly, and Helen Campbell, and organizations such as the National Consumers' League, the Women's Educational and Industrial Union, and the Women's Trade Union League. Locating households as important sites of class conflict, Breadwinners recovers the class and gender politics behind the marginalization of domestic workers in debates over labor reform while documenting the ways in which working-class women raised their voices on their own behalf.
College-for-all has become the new American dream. Most high school students today express a desire to attend college, and 90% of on-time high school graduates enroll in higher education in the eight years following high school. Yet, degree completion rates remain low for non-traditional students—students who are older, low-income, or have poor academic achievement—even at community colleges that endeavor to serve them. What can colleges do to reduce dropouts? In Bridging the Gaps, education scholars James Rosenbaum, Caitlin Ahearn, and Janet Rosenbaum argue that when institutions focus only on bachelor’s degrees and traditional college procedures, they ignore other pathways to educational and career success. Using multiple longitudinal studies, the authors evaluate the shortcomings and successes of community colleges and investigate how these institutions can promote alternatives to BAs and traditional college procedures to increase graduation rates and improve job payoffs.
The authors find that sub-baccalaureate credentials—associate degrees and college certificates—can improve employment outcomes. Young adults who complete these credentials have higher employment rates, earnings, autonomy, career opportunities, and job satisfaction than those who enroll but do not complete credentials. Sub-BA credentials can be completed at community college in less time than bachelor’s degrees, making them an affordable option for many low-income students.
Bridging the Gaps shows that when community colleges overemphasize bachelor’s degrees, they tend to funnel resources into remedial programs, and try to get low-performing students on track for a BA. Yet, remedial programs have inconsistent success rates and can create unrealistic expectations, leading struggling students to drop out before completing any degree. The authors show that colleges can devise procedures that reduce remedial placements and help students discover unseen abilities, attain valued credentials, get good jobs, and progress on degree ladders to higher credentials.
To turn college-for-all into a reality, community college students must be aware of their multiple credential and career options. Bridging the Gaps shows how colleges can create new pathways for non-traditional students to achieve success in their schooling and careers.
From the time the first tracks were laid in the early nineteenth century, the railroad has occupied a crucial place in America's historical imagination. Now, for the first time, Eric Arnesen gives us an untold piece of that vital American institution--the story of African Americans on the railroad. African Americans have been a part of the railroad from its inception, but today they are largely remembered as Pullman porters and track layers. The real history is far richer, a tale of endless struggle, perseverance, and partial victory. In a sweeping narrative, Arnesen re-creates the heroic efforts by black locomotive firemen, brakemen, porters, dining car waiters, and redcaps to fight a pervasive system of racism and job discrimination fostered by their employers, white co-workers, and the unions that legally represented them even while barring them from membership. Decades before the rise of the modern civil rights movement in the mid-1950s, black railroaders forged their own brand of civil rights activism, organizing their own associations, challenging white trade unions, and pursuing legal redress through state and federal courts. In recapturing black railroaders' voices, aspirations, and challenges, Arnesen helps to recast the history of black protest and American labor in the twentieth century.
Table of Contents:
1. Race in the First Century of American Railroading 2. Promise and Failure in the World War I Era 3. The Black Wedge of Civil Rights Unionism 4. Independent Black Unionism in Depression and War 5. The Rise of the Red Caps 6. The Politics of Fair Employment 7. The Politics of Fair Representation 8. Black Railroaders in the Modern Era
Conclusion Notes Acknowledgments Index
Reviews of this book: In this superbly written monograph, Arnesen...shows how African American railroad workers combined civil rights and labor union activism in their struggles for racial equality in the workplace...Throughout, black locomotive firemen, porters, yardmen, and other railroaders speak eloquently about the work they performed and their confrontations with racist treatment...This history of the 'aristocrats' of the African American working class is highly recommended. --Charles L. Lumpkins, Library Journal
Reviews of this book: Arnesen provides a fascinating look at U.S. labor and commerce in the arena of the railroads, so much a part of romantic notions about the growth of the nation. The focus of the book is the troubled history of the railroads in the exploitation of black workers from slavery until the civil rights movement, with an insightful analysis of the broader racial integration brought about by labor activism. --Vanessa Bush, Booklist
Reviews of this book: [An] exhaustive and illuminating work of scholarship. --Publishers Weekly
Reviews of this book: Arnesen tells a story that should be of interest to a variety of readers, including those who are avid students of this country's railroads. He knows his stuff, and furthermore, reminds us of how dependent American railroads were on the backbreaking labor of racial and ethnic groups whose civil and political status were precarious at best: Irish, Chinese, Mexicans and Italians, as well as African-Americans. But Arnesen's most powerful and provocative argument is that the nature of discrimination not only led black railroad workers to pursue the path of independent unionism, it also propelled them into the larger struggle for civil rights. --Steven Hahn, Chicago Tribune
By the last two decades of the twentieth century, Ohio women had held positions as university presidents, chief executive officers, judges, superintendents of schools, and lieutenant governor. They had won Pulitzer Prizes and, in one case, the Nobel Prize for Literature.
But these women stood on the shoulders of those who came before: the pioneering women who helped tame the Ohio frontier, who filled the breach, who worked for reform, and who struggled for their own rights as citizens of one of the most prosperous states in the Union.
Buckeye Women is an accessible and comprehensive account of the role Ohio women have assumed in the history of the state and a narrative of their hardships and of the victories that have been won in the past two hundred years.
In this timely contribution to the Ohio Bicentennial Series, Professor Stephane Booth has written a rich and well-researched volume, providing for the first time a record of the vast and pivotal accomplishments shared by the women of Ohio over the last two centuries and documenting their contribution to the state’s remarkable heritage.
In the nineteenth century Woman's Exchanges formed a vast national network that created economic alternatives for financially vulnerable women in a world that permitted few respectable employment options.
One of the nation's oldest continuously operating voluntary movements many are still in business after more than a century the Exchanges were fashionable and popular shops where women who had fallen on hard times could sustain themselves by selling their handiwork on consignment without having to seek public employment. Over the century Exchanges became an important forum for entrepreneurial growth and an example of how women used the voluntary sector which had so successfully served as a conduit for their political and social reforms to advance opportunities for economic independence.