Working-class women are the majority of women in the united states, and yet their work and their culture are rarely visible. Calling Home is an anthology of writings by and about working-class women. Over fifty selections represent the ethnic, racial, and geographic diversity of working-class experience. This is writing grounded in social history, not in the academy. Traditional boundaries of genre and periodization collapse in this collection, which includes reportage, oral histories, speeches, songs, and letters, as well as poetry, stories, and essays. The divisions in this collection - telling stories, bearing witness, celebrating solidarity - address the distinction of "by" or "about" working-class women, and show the connections between individual identity and collective sensibility in a common history of struggle for economic justice.
The geography of home, identity, parents, sex, motherhood, the dominance of the job, the overlapping of private and public worlds, the promise of solidarity and community are a few of the themes of this book. Here is a chorus of working class women's voices: Sandra Cisneros, Barbara Garson, Meridel Le Sueur, Tillie Olsen, Barbara Smith, Endesha I. M. Holland, Mother Jones, Nellie Wong, Agnes Smedley, Bobbie Louise Hawkins, Sharon Doubiago, Carol Tarlen, Hazel Hall, Margaret Randall, Judy Grahn, and many others!
The aesthetic impulse is shaped by class, but not limited to one ruling class. What connects these writers is a collective consciousness, a class, which rejects bondage and lays claim to liberation through all the possibilities of language. Calling Home is illustrated with family photographs as well as images of working women by professional photographers.
The Changing Nature of Work
Edited by Frank Ackerman, Neva R. Goodwin, Laurie Dougherty, and Kevin Gallagher; Foreword by Robert Reich Island Press, 1998 Library of Congress HD4901.C427 1998 | Dewey Decimal 331
Human impacts on the environment are largely driven by economic forces. If a more ecologically sustainable world is to be achieved, significant changes must be made to the current growth- and consumption-dependent economic system. The Frontier Issues in Economic Thought series was designed to assist the growing number of economists and others who are responding to the need for new thinking about economics in the face of environmental and social forces that are reshaping the world.The Changing Nature of Work examines the causes and effects of the rapid transformation of the world of work. It provides concise summaries of the key writings on work and workplace issues, extending the frontiers of labor economics to include the often overlooked social and psychological dimensions of work.The book begins with a foreword by former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich that presents labor in contemporary perspective. An introductory overview provides a brief history of the changing nature of work and situates current problems in the context of longer-term developments. Following that are eight topical sections that feature three- to five-page summaries for each of the ten to twelve most important articles or book chapters on a subject.Sections cover.new directions in labor economics social and psychological dimensions of work and unemployment globalization and labor new technologies and organizational change flexibility and internal labor markets new patterns of industrial relations family, gender, paid and unpaid work difference and diversity in the workplaceThe book provides a roadmap for scholars on the vast and diverse literature concerning labor issues, and affords students a quick overview of that rapidly changing field. It is an important contribution to the series and is a valuable book for anyone interested in labor, as well as for students and scholars of labor economics, industrial sociology, industrial relations, social psychology, and their respective disciplines.
The growth of Las Vegas that began in the 1940s brought an influx of both women and men looking to work in the expanding hotel and casino industries. In fact, for the next fifty years the proportion of women in the labor force was greater in Las Vegas than the United States as a whole. Joanne L. Goodwin’s study captures the shifting boundaries of women’s employment in the postwar decades with narratives drawn from the Las Vegas Women Oral History Project. It counters clichéd pictures of women at work in the famed resort city as it explores women’s real strategies for economic survival and success.
Their experiences anticipated major trends in post-World War II labor history: the national migration of workers during and after the war, the growing proportion of women in the labor force, balancing work with family life, the unionization of service workers, and, above all, the desegregation of the labor force by sex and race. These narratives show women in Las Vegas resisting preassigned roles, seeing their work as a testimony of skill, a measure of independence, and a fulfillment of needs. Overall, these stories of women who lived and worked in Las Vegas in the last half of the twentieth century reveal much about the broader transitions for women in America between 1940 and 1990.
Social change triggered by the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s sent the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) on a fifty-year mission to dismantle an exclusionary professional standard that envisioned the ideal journalist as white, straight, and male. In this book, Gwyneth Mellinger explores the complex history of the decades-long ASNE diversity initiative, which culminated in the failed Goal 2000 effort to match newsroom demographics with those of the U.S. population.
Drawing upon exhaustive reviews of ASNE archival materials, Mellinger examines the democratic paradox through the lens of the ASNE, an elite organization that arguably did more than any other during the twentieth century to institutionalize professional standards in journalism and expand the concepts of government accountability and the free press. The ASNE would emerge in the 1970s as the leader in the newsroom integration movement, but its effort would be frustrated by structures of exclusion the organization had embedded into its own professional standards. Explaining why a project so promising failed so profoundly, Chasing Newsroom Diversity expands our understanding of the intransigence of institutional racism, gender discrimination, and homophobia within democracy.
Recent law school graduates often work as temporary attorneys, but law firm layoffs and downsizing have strengthened the temporary attorney industry. Cheaper by the Hour is the first book-length account of these workers.
Drawing from participant observation and interviews, Robert A. Brooks provides a richly detailed ethnographic account of freelance attorneys in Washington, DC. He places their document review work in the larger context of the deprofessionalization of skilled labor and considers how professionals relegated to temporary jobs feel diminished, degraded, or demeaned by work that is often tedious, repetitive, and well beneath their abilities.
Brooks documents how firms break a lawyer's work into discrete components that require less skill to realize maximum profits. Moreover, he argues that information technology and efficiency demands are further stratifying the profession and creating a new underclass of lawyers who do low-end commodity work.
The Chicago Guide to Landing a Job in Academic Biology is an indispensable guide for graduate students and post-docs as they enter that domain red in tooth and claw: the job market.
An academic career in the biological sciences typically demands well over a decade of technical training. So it’s ironic that when a scholar reaches the most critical stage in that career—the search for a job following graduate work—he or she receives little or no formal preparation. Instead, students are thrown into the job market with only cursory guidance on how to search for and land a position.
Now there’s help. Carefully, clearly, and with a welcome sense of humor, The Chicago Guide to Landing a Job in Academic Biology leads graduate students and postdoctoral fellows through the perils and rewards of their first job search. The authors—who collectively have for decades mentored students and served on hiring committees—have honed their advice in workshops at biology meetings across the country. The resulting guide covers everything from how to pack an overnight bag without wrinkling a suit to selecting the right job to apply for in the first place. The authors have taken care to make their advice useful to all areas of academic biology—from cell biology and molecular genetics to evolution and ecology—and they give tips on how applicants can tailor their approaches to different institutions from major research universities to small private colleges.
With jobs in the sciences ever more difficult to come by, The Chicago Guide to Landing a Job in Academic Biology is designed to help students and post-docs navigate the tricky terrain of an academic job search—from the first year of a graduate program to the final negotiations of a job offer.
The Great Depression of the 1930s had a devastating impact on sparsely populated Nevada and its two major industries, mining and agriculture. Luckily, thanks to Nevada’s powerful Senate delegation, Roosevelt’s New Deal funding flowed abundantly into the state. Among the programs thus supported was the Civilian Conservation Corps, a federal program intended to provide jobs for unemployed young men and a pool of labor for essential public lands rehabilitation projects. In all, nearly thirty-one thousand men were employed in fifty-nine CCC camps across Nevada, most of them from outside the state. These “boys,” as they were called, went to work improving the state’s forests, parks, wildlife habitats, roads, fences, irrigation systems, flood-control systems, and rangelands, while learning valuable skills on the job. Rural communities near CCC camps reaped additional benefits when local men were hired as foremen and when the camps purchased supplies from local merchants.
The Civilian Conservation Corps in Nevada is the first comprehensive history of the Nevada CCC, a program designed to help the nation get back on its feet, and of the “boys” who did so much to restore Nevada’s lands and resources. The book is based on extensive research in private manuscript collections, unpublished memoirs, CCC inspectors’ reports, and other records. The book also includes period photographs depicting the Nevada CCC and its activities.
As debate about immigration policy rages from small towns to state capitals, from coffee shops to Congress, would-be immigrants are dying in the desert along the US–Mexico border. Beginning in the 1990s, the US government effectively sealed off the most common border crossing routes. This had the unintended effect of forcing desperate people to seek new paths across open desert. At least 4,000 of them died between 1995 and 2009. While some Americans thought the dead had gotten what they deserved, other Americans organized humanitarian aid groups. A Common Humanity examines some of the most active aid organizations in Tucson, Arizona, which has become a hotbed of advocacy on behalf of undocumented immigrants.
This is the first book to examine immigrant aid groups from the inside. Author Lane Van Ham spent more than three years observing the groups and many hours in discussions and interviews. He is particularly interested in how immigrant advocates both uphold the legitimacy of the United States and maintain a broader view of its social responsibilities. By advocating for immigrants regardless of their documentation status, he suggests, advocates navigate the conflicting pulls of their own nation-state citizenship and broader obligations to their neighbors in a globalizing world. And although the advocacy organizations are not overtly religious, Van Ham finds that they do employ religious symbolism as part of their public rhetoric, arguing that immigrants are entitled to humane treatment based on universal human values.
Beautifully written and immensely engaging, A Common Humanity adds a valuable human dimension to the immigration debate.
Constitutional considerations of protective laws for women were the analytical battlefield on which the legal community reworked the balance between private liberty and the state's authority to regulate. Julie Novkov focuses on the importance of gender as an analytical category for the legal system.
During the Progressive Era and New Deal, courts often invalidated generalized protective legislation, but frequently upheld measures that limited women's terms and conditions of labor. The book explores the reasoning in such cases that were decided between 1873 and 1937. By analyzing all reported opinion on the state and federal level, as well as materials from the women's movement and briefs filed in the U.S. Supreme Court, the study demonstrates that considerations of cases involving women's measures ultimately came to drive the development of doctrine.
The study combines historical institutionalism and feminism to address constitutional interpretation, showing that an analysis of conflict over the meaning of legal categories provides a deeper understanding of constitutional development. In doing so, it rejects purely political interpretations of the so-called Lochner era, in which the courts invalidated many legislative efforts to ameliorate the worst effects of capitalism. By addressing the dynamic interactions among interested laypersons, attorneys, and judges, it demonstrates that no individuals or institutions have complete control over the generation of constitutional meaning.
Julie Novkov is Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Oregon
Youth labor is an important element in our modern economy, but as students’ consumption habits have changed, so too have their reasons for working. In Consuming Work, Yasemin Besen-Cassino reveals that many American high school and college students work for social reasons, not monetary gain. Most are affluent, suburban, white youth employed in part-time jobs at places like the Coffee Bean so they can be associated with a cool brand, hangout with their friends, and get discounts.
Consuming Work offers a fascinating picture of youth at work and how jobs are marketed to these students. Besen-Cassino also shows how the roots of gender and class inequality in the labor force have their beginnings in this critical labor sector.
Exploring the social meaning of youth at work, and providing critical insights into labor and the youth workforce, Consuming Work contributes a deeper understanding of the changing nature of American labor.
Conservatives often condemn the poor, particularly African-Americans, for having children out of wedlock, joblessness, dropping out of school, or tolerating crime. Liberals counter that, with more economic opportunity, the poor differ little from the nonpoor in these areas. In answer to both, Coping with Poverty points to the survival strategies of the poor and their multiple roles as parents, neighbors, relatives, and workers. Their attempts to balance multiple obligations occur within a context of limited information, social support, and resources. Their decisions may not always be the wisest, but they "make sense" in context.
Contributors use qualitative research methods to explore the influence of community, workplace, and family upon strategies for dealing with poverty. Promising young scholars delve into poor black inner-city neighborhoods and suburbs and middle-income black urban communities, exploring experiences at all stages of life, including high-school students, young parents, employed older men, and unemployed mothers. Two chapters discuss the role of qualitative research in poverty studies, specifically examining how this research can be used to improve policymaking.
The volume's contribution is in the diversity of experiences it highlights and in how the general themes it illustrates are similar across different age/gender groups. The book also suggests an approach to policymaking that seeks to incorporate the experiences and the needs of the poor themselves, in the hope of creating more successful and more relevant poverty policy. It is especially useful for undergraduate and graduate courses in sociology, public policy, urban studies, and African-American Studies, as its scope makes it THE basic reader of qualitative studies of poverty.
Sheldon Danziger is Director of the Poverty Research and Tranining Center and Professor of Social Work and Public Policy, University of Michigan. Ann Chih Lin is Assistant Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, University of Michigan.
The gender wage gap is one of the most persistent problems of labor markets and women’s lives.
Most approaches to explaining the gap focus on adult employment despite the fact that many Americans begin working well before their education is completed. In her critical and compelling new book, The Cost of Being a Girl, Yasemin Besen-Cassino examines the origins of the gender wage gap by looking at the teenage labor force, where comparisons between boys and girls ought to show no difference, but do.
Besen-Cassino’s findings are disturbing. Because of discrimination in the market, most teenage girls who start part-time work as babysitters and in other freelance jobs fail to make the same wages as teenage boys who move into employee-type jobs. The “cost” of being a girl is also psychological; when teenage girls work retail jobs in the apparel industry, they have lower wages and body image issues in the long run.
Through in-depth interviews and surveys with workers and employees, The Cost of Being a Girl puts this alarming social problem—which extends to race and class inequality—in to bold relief. Besen-Cassino emphasizes that early inequalities in the workplace ultimately translate into greater inequalities in the overall labor force.
"The ethnography of Japan is currently being reshaped by a new generation of Japanologists, and the present work certainly deserves a place in this body of literature. . . . The combination of utility with beauty makes Kondo's book required reading, for those with an interest not only in Japan but also in reflexive anthropology, women's studies, field methods, the anthropology of work, social psychology, Asian Americans, and even modern literature."—Paul H. Noguchi, American Anthropologist
"Kondo's work is significant because she goes beyond disharmony, insisting on complexity. Kondo shows that inequalities are not simply oppressive-they are meaningful ways to establish identities."—Nancy Rosenberger, Journal of Asian Studies
Crippled Justice, the first comprehensive intellectual history of disability policy in the workplace from World War II to the present, explains why American employers and judges, despite the Americans with Disabilities Act, have been so resistant to accommodating the disabled in the workplace. Ruth O'Brien traces the origins of this resistance to the postwar disability policies inspired by physicians and psychoanalysts that were based on the notion that disabled people should accommodate society rather than having society accommodate them.
O'Brien shows how the remnants of postwar cultural values bogged down the rights-oriented policy in the 1970s and how they continue to permeate judicial interpretations of provisions under the Americans with Disabilities Act. In effect, O'Brien argues, these decisions have created a lose/lose situation for the very people the act was meant to protect. Covering developments up to the present, Crippled Justice is an eye-opening story of government officials and influential experts, and how our legislative and judicial institutions have responded to them.