Laboring For Rights
edited by Gerald Hunt Temple University Press, 1999 Library of Congress HD6285.L33 1999 | Dewey Decimal 331.53
How do unions around the world respond to issues raised by sexual minorities? Much as been written on labor's response to issues raised by women and racial minorities, but there has been little work done on labor's engagement with gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and the transgendered. The original essays in this collection attempt to fill that void by bringing together a group of experts who examine labor's response to such issues as benefits for same-sex partners, anti-discrimination language in collective agreements, and education. Speaking from a variety of racial backgrounds, sexual orientations, and political views, the contributors bring their unique personal perspectives and scholarly approaches to this groundbreaking book.
The chapters included in Laboring for Rights give a global vision to the increasingly important subject of equity in the workplace. They offer a much-needed look at labor's involvement with current international workplace conditions from such diverse countries as the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany, Britain, France, the Netherlands, and South Africa, as well as parts of the South Pacific. Some of these countries have strong and progressive labor unions; some, like the U.S., have relatively weak labor organizations. But whatever the context, as these articles demonstrate, there seems to be a growing and in some instances prospering gay/lesbian labor alliance in many parts of the world.
Laboring for Rights is a pioneering text in an important new area of labor study. It will engage readers interested in equality in the workplace, labor and organizational studies, gay and lesbian activism, and international, comparative studies.
In Labors Appropriate to Their Sex Elizabeth Quay Hutchison addresses the plight of working women in early twentieth-century Chile, when the growth of urban manufacturing was transforming the contours of women’s wage work and stimulating significant public debate, new legislation, educational reform, and social movements directed at women workers. Challenging earlier interpretations of women’s economic role in Chile’s industrial growth, which took at face value census figures showing a dramatic decline in women’s industrial work after 1907, Hutchison shows how the spread of industrial sweatshops and changing definitions of employment in the census combined to make female labor disappear from census records at the same time that it was in fact burgeoning in urban areas.
In addition to population and industrial censuses, Hutchison culls published and archival sources to illuminate such misconceptions and to reveal how women’s paid labor became a locus of anxiety for a society confronting social problems—both real and imagined—that were linked to industrialization and modernization. The limited options of working women were viewed by politicians, elite women, industrialists, and labor organizers as indicative of a society in crisis, she claims, yet their struggles were also viewed as the potential springboard for reform. Labors Appropriate to Their Sex thus demonstrates how changing norms concerning gender and work were central factors in conditioning the behavior of both male and female workers, relations between capital and labor, and political change and reform in Chile.
This study will be rewarding for those whose interests lie in labor, gender, or Latin American studies; as well as for those concerned with the histories of early feminism, working-class women, and sexual discrimination in Latin America.
One of Choice magazine's Outstanding Academic Books of 1999 Accepted wisdom about the opportunities available to African American and Latina women in the U.S. labor market has changed dramatically. Although the 1970s saw these women earning almost as much as their white counterparts, in the 1980s their relative wages began falling behind, and the job prospects plummeted for those with little education and low skills. At the same time, African American women more often found themselves the sole support of their families. While much social science research has centered on the problems facing black male workers, Latinas and African American Women at Work offers a comprehensive investigation into the eroding progress of these women in the U.S. labor market. The prominent sociologists and economists featured in this volume describe how race and gender intersect to especially disadvantage black and Latina women. Their inquiries encompass three decades of change for women at all levels of the workforce, from those who spend time on the welfare rolls to middle class professionals. Among the many possible sources of increased disadvantage, they particularly examine the changing demands for skills, increasing numbers of immigrants in the job market, the precariousness of balancing work and childcare responsibilities, and employer discrimination. While racial inequity in hiring often results from educational differences between white and minority women, this cannot explain the discrimination faced by women with higher skills. Minority women therefore face a two-tiered hurdle based on race and gender. Although the picture for young African American women has grown bleaker overall, for Latina women, the story is more complex, with a range of economic outcomes among Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, and Central and South Americans. Latinas and African American Women at Work reveals differences in how professional African American and white women view their position in the workforce, with black women perceiving more discrimination, for both race and gender, than whites. The volume concludes with essays that synthesize the evidence about racial and gender-based obstacles in the labor market. Given the current heated controversy over female and minority employment, as well as the recent sweeping changes to the national welfare system, the need for empirical data to inform the public debate about disadvantaged women is greater than ever before. The important findings in Latinas and African American Women at Work substantially advance our understanding of social inequality and the pervasive role of race, ethnicity and gender in the economic well-being of American women.
The McCarthy era is generally considered the worst period of political repression in recent American history. But while the famous question, "Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?" resonated in the halls of Congress, security officials were posing another question at least as frequently, if more discreetly: "Information has come to the attention of the Civil Service Commission that you are a homosexual. What comment do you care to make?"
Historian David K. Johnson here relates the frightening, untold story of how, during the Cold War, homosexuals were considered as dangerous a threat to national security as Communists. Charges that the Roosevelt and Truman administrations were havens for homosexuals proved a potent political weapon, sparking a "Lavender Scare" more vehement and long-lasting than McCarthy's Red Scare. Relying on newly declassified documents, years of research in the records of the National Archives and the FBI, and interviews with former civil servants, Johnson recreates the vibrant gay subculture that flourished in New Deal-era Washington and takes us inside the security interrogation rooms where thousands of Americans were questioned about their sex lives. The homosexual purges ended promising careers, ruined lives, and pushed many to suicide. But, as Johnson also shows, the purges brought victims together to protest their treatment, helping launch a new civil rights struggle.
The Lavender Scare shatters the myth that homosexuality has only recently become a national political issue, changing the way we think about both the McCarthy era and the origins of the gay rights movement. And perhaps just as importantly, this book is a cautionary tale, reminding us of how acts taken by the government in the name of "national security" during the Cold War resulted in the infringement of the civil liberties of thousands of Americans.
Law and Employment analyzes the effects of regulation and deregulation on Latin American labor markets and presents empirically grounded studies of the costs of regulation.
Numerous labor regulations that were introduced or reformed in Latin America in the past thirty years have had important economic consequences. Nobel Prize-winning economist James J. Heckman and Carmen Pagés document the behavior of firms attempting to stay in business and be competitive while facing the high costs of complying with these labor laws. They challenge the prevailing view that labor market regulations affect only the distribution of labor incomes and have little or no impact on efficiency or the performance of labor markets. Using new micro-evidence, this volume shows that labor regulations reduce labor market turnover rates and flexibility, promote inequality, and discriminate against marginal workers.
Along with in-depth studies of Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Jamaica, and Trinidad, Law and Employment provides comparative analysis of Latin American economies against a range of European countries and the United States. The book breaks new ground by quantifying not only the cost of regulation in Latin America, the Caribbean, and in the OECD, but also the broader impact of this regulation.
Robert D. BEHN Harvard University Press, 1991 Library of Congress HV98.M39B44 1991 | Dewey Decimal 362.58409744
Anne E. Preston Russell Sage Foundation, 2004 Library of Congress Q149.U5P74 2004 | Dewey Decimal 331.126150973
The past thirty years have witnessed a dramatic decline in the number of U.S. students pursuing advanced degrees in science and an equally dramatic increase in the number of professionals leaving scientific careers. Leaving Science provides the first significant examination of this worrisome new trend. Economist Anne E. Preston examines a wide range of important questions: Why do professionals who have invested extensive time and money on a rigorous scientific education leave the field? Where do these scientists go and what do they do? What policies might aid in retaining and improving the quality of life for science personnel? Based on data from a large national survey of nearly 1,700 people who received university degrees in the natural sciences or engineering between 1965 and 1990 and a subsequent in-depth follow-up survey, Leaving Science provides a comprehensive portrait of the career trajectories of men and women who have earned science degrees. Alarmingly, by the end of the follow-up survey, only 51 percent of the original respondents were still working in science. During this time, federal funding for scientific research decreased dramatically relative to private funding. Consequently, the direction of scientific research has increasingly been dictated by market forces, and many scientists have left academic research for income and opportunity in business and industry. Preston identifies the main reasons for people leaving scientific careers as dissatisfaction with compensation and career advancement, difficulties balancing family and career responsibilities, and changing professional interests. Highlighting the difference between male and female exit patterns, Preston shows that most men left because they found scientific salaries low relative to perceived alternatives in other fields, while most women left scientific careers in response to feelings of alienation due to lack of career guidance, difficulty relating to their work, and insufficient time for their family obligations. Leaving Science contains a unique blend of rigorous statistical analysis with voices of individual scientists, ensuring a rich and detailed understanding of an issue with profound consequences for the nation's future. A better understanding of why professionals leave science can help lead to changes in scientific education and occupations and make the scientific workplace more attractive and hospitable to career men and women.
Liberating Economics draws on central concepts from women's studies scholarship to construct a feminist understanding of the economic roles of families, caring labor, motherhood, paid and unpaid labor, poverty, the feminization of labor, and the consequences of globalization. Barker and Feiner consistently recognize the importance of social location -- gender, race, class, sexual identity, and nationality -- in economic processes shaping the home, paid employment, market relations, and the global economy. Throughout they connect women's economic status in the industrialized nations to the economic circumstances surrounding women in the global South.
Rooted in the two disciplines, this book draws on the rich tradition of interdisciplinary work in feminist social science scholarship to construct a parallel between the notions that the "personal is political" and "the personal is economic."
Drucilla K. Barker is Professor of Economics and Women's Studies, Hollins University.
Susan F. Feiner is Associate Professor of Economics and Women's Studies, University of Southern Maine.
In Taiwan, small-scale subcontracting factories of thirty employees or less make items for export, like the wooden jewelry boxes that Ping-Chun Hsiung made when she worked in six such factories. These factories are found in rice fields and urban areas, front yards and living rooms, mostly employing married women in line with the government slogan that promotes work in the home—"Living Rooms as Factories."
Hsiung studies the experiences of the married women who work in this satellite system of factories, and how their work and family lives have contributed to Taiwan's 9.1 percent GNP growth over the last three decades, the "economic miracle." This vivid portrayal of the dual lives of these women as wives, mothers, daughters-in-law and as manufacturing workers also provides sophisticated analyses of the links between class and gender stratification, family dynamics, state policy, and global restructuring within the process of industrialization.
Hsiung uses ethnographic data to illustrate how, in this system of intersecting capitalist logic and patriarchal practices, some Taiwanese women experience upward mobility by marrying into the owners' family, while others remain home and wage workers. Although women in both groups acknowledge gender inequality, this commonality does not bridge divergent class affiliations. Along with a detailed account of the oppressive labor practices, this book reveals how workers employ clandestine tactics to defy the owners' claims on their labor.
Unemployment among black Americans is twice that of whites. Myriad theories have been put forward to explain the persistent employment gap between blacks and whites in the U.S. Structural theorists point to factors such as employer discrimination and the decline of urban manufacturing. Other researchers argue that African-American residents living in urban neighborhoods of concentrated poverty lack social networks that can connect them to employers. Still others believe that African-American culture fosters attitudes of defeatism and resistance to work. In Lone Pursuit, sociologist Sandra Susan Smith cuts through this thicket of competing explanations to examine the actual process of job searching in depth. Lone Pursuit reveals that unemployed African Americans living in the inner city are being let down by jobholding peers and government agencies who could help them find work, but choose not to. Lone Pursuit is a pioneering ethnographic study of the experiences of low-skilled, black urban residents in Michigan as both jobseekers and jobholders. Smith surveyed 105 African-American men and women between the ages of 20 and 40, each of whom had no more than a high school diploma. She finds that mutual distrust thwarts cooperation between jobseekers and jobholders. Jobseekers do not lack social capital per se, but are often unable to make use of the network ties they have. Most jobholders express reluctance about referring their friends and relatives for jobs, fearful of jeopardizing their own reputations with employers. Rather than finding a culture of dependency, Smith discovered that her underprivileged subjects engage in a discourse of individualism. To justify denying assistance to their friends and relatives, jobholders characterize their unemployed peers as lacking in motivation and stress the importance of individual responsibility. As a result, many jobseekers, wary of being demeaned for their needy condition, hesitate to seek referrals from their peers. In a low-skill labor market where employers rely heavily on personal referrals, this go-it-alone approach is profoundly self-defeating. In her observations of a state job center, Smith finds similar distrust and non-cooperation between jobseekers and center staff members, who assume that young black men are unwilling to make an effort to find work. As private contractors hired by the state, the job center also seeks to meet performance quotas by screening out the riskiest prospects—black male and female jobseekers who face the biggest obstacles to employment and thus need the most help. The problem of chronic black joblessness has resisted both the concerted efforts of policymakers and the proliferation of theories offered by researchers. By examining the roots of the African-American unemployment crisis from the vantage point of the everyday job-searching experiences of the urban poor, Lone Pursuit provides a novel answer to this decades-old puzzle.
Looking for Loopholes is a detailed account of how illegal immigrants manage to integrate into Dutch society. Drawing on long-term research in the four largest cities in the Netherlands, van der Leun discusses illegal immigration's relationships with illegal employment and criminal involvement, as well as aspects of education, housing, health care and police surveillance. Throughout, she combines the perspectives of immigrants with that of those who implement policies to discourage them, revealing growing tensions between restrictive rules and day-to-day reality.