On any given night in living rooms across America, women gather for a fun girls’ night out to eat, drink, and purchase the latest products—from Amway to Mary Kay cosmetics. Beneath the party atmosphere lies a billion-dollar industry, Direct Home Sales (DHS), which is currently changing how women navigate work and family.
Drawing from numerous interviews with consultants and observations at company-sponsored events, Paid to Party takes a closer look at how DHS promises to change the way we think and feel about the struggles of balancing work and family. Offering a new approach to a flexible work model, DHS companies tell women they can, in fact, have it all and not feel guilty. In DHS, work time is not measured by the hands of the clock, but by the emotional fulfillment and fun it brings.
Welfare reform was supposed to end welfare as we know it. And it has. The welfare poor have been largely transformed into the working poor, but their poverty persists. This hard-hitting book takes a close look at where we’ve gone wrong—and where we might go next if we truly want to improve the lot of America’s underclass.
Tracing the roots of recent reforms to the early days of the war on poverty, A Poverty of Imagination describes a social welfare system grown increasingly inept, corrupt, and susceptible to conservative redesign. Investigating the causes of the ongoing failure of welfare assistance, Stoesz focuses on the economic barriers that impede movement out of poverty into the American mainstream. He explores such issues as the heterogeneity of welfare families, generational welfare, inadequate benefits, the negative effects of time limits on welfare recipients, a fringe banking industry that exploits low-income families, the limited capacity of low-wage markets, and the unavailability of credit.
Stoesz suggests that a form of "bootstrap capitalism" would allow individuals and families to participate more fully in American society and achieve upward economic mobility and stability. This proposal, emphasizing wage supplements, asset building, and community capitalism, sets the stage for the next act in poverty policy in the United States. With its valuable insights on the American welfare system and its positive agenda for change, this book makes a significant intervention in our ongoing struggle to come to terms with widespread poverty in the wealthiest nation on earth.
In a small, locally owned Trinidadian factory that produces household goods, 80 percent of the line workers are women, almost all black or East Indian. The supervisors are all men, either white or East Indian. Kevin Yelvington worked for a year in this factory to study how ethnicity and gender are integral elements of the class structure, a social and economic structure that permeates all relations between men and women in the factory. These primary divisions determine the way the production process is ordered and labor divided.
Unlike women in other industries in "underdeveloped" parts of the world who are recruited by foreign firms, Caribbean women have always contributed to the local economy. Within this historical context, Yelvington outlines the development of the state, and addresses exploitation and domination in the labor process. Yelvington also documents the sexually charged interactions between workers and managers and explores how both use flirting and innuendo to their advantage. Weddings and other social events outside the factory provide insightful details about how the creation of social identities carries over to all aspects of the local culture.
The Victorian era provided few opportunities for women in the professional world. The American Arts and Crafts movement, which began in the late nineteenth century to promote handcraftsmanship over mass production, was a major factor in changing the status of women as professional workers. In <i>Professional Pursuits</i>, Catherine Zipf examines the participation of women in this significant design movement and the role they played in revolutionizing the position of women in the professional world. She also shows how, in turn, the Arts and Crafts movement set the stage for social and political change in future years.
Zipf focuses on five gifted women in various parts of the country. In San Diego, Hazel Wood Waterman parlayed her Arts and Crafts training into a career in architecture. Cincinnati's Mary Louise McLaughlin expanded on her interest in Arts and Crafts pottery by inventing new ceramic technology.
New York's Candace Wheeler established four businesses that used Arts and Crafts production to help other women earn a living. In Syracuse, both Adelaide Alsop Robineau and Irene Sargent were responsible for disseminating Arts and Crafts-related information through the movement's publications. Each woman's story is different, but each played an important part in the creation of professional opportunities for women in a male-dominated society.
<i>Professional Pursuits</i> will be of interest to scholars and students of material culture and of the Arts and Crafts movement. More importantly, it chronicles a very significant, little-understood aspect of the development of Victorian capitalism: the integration of women into the professional workforce.
Catherine Zipf is an assistant professor in the Department of Cultural and Historic Preservation at Salve Regina University. She has published articles in <i>Women's Art News</i> and the <i>Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians</i>.
Koreans constituted the largest colonial labor force in imperial Japan during the 1920s and 1930s. Caught between the Scylla of agricultural destitution in Korea and the Charybdis of industrial depression in Japan, migrant Korean peasants arrived on Japanese soil amid extreme instability in the labor and housing markets. In The Proletarian Gamble, Ken C. Kawashima maintains that contingent labor is a defining characteristic of capitalist commodity economies. He scrutinizes how the labor power of Korean workers in Japan was commodified, and how these workers both fought against the racist and contingent conditions of exchange and combated institutionalized racism.
Kawashima draws on previously unseen archival materials from interwar Japan as he describes how Korean migrants struggled against various recruitment practices, unfair and discriminatory wages, sudden firings, racist housing practices, and excessive bureaucratic red tape. Demonstrating that there was no single Korean “minority,” he reveals how Koreans exploited fellow Koreans and how the stratification of their communities worked to the advantage of state and capital. However, Kawashima also describes how, when migrant workers did organize—as when they became involved in Rōsō (the largest Korean communist labor union in Japan) and in Zenkyō (the Japanese communist labor union)—their diverse struggles were united toward a common goal. In The Proletarian Gamble, his analysis of the Korean migrant workers' experiences opens into a much broader rethinking of the fundamental nature of capitalist commodity economies and the analytical categories of the proletariat, surplus populations, commodification, and state power.
With the nation enjoying a remarkable long and robust economic expansion, AfricanAmerican employment has risen to an all-time high. Does this good news refute the notion of a permanently disadvantaged black underclass, or has one type of disadvantage been replaced by another? Some economists fear that many newly employed minority workers will remain stuck in low-wage jobs, barred from better-paying, high skill jobs by their lack of educational opportunities and entrenched racial discrimination. Prosperity for All? draws upon the research and insights of respected economists to address these important issues. Prosperity for All? reveals that while African Americans benefit in many ways from a strong job market, serious problems remain. Research presented in this book shows that the ratio of black to white unemployment has actually increased over recent expansions. Even though African American men are currently less likely to leave the workforce, the number of those who do not find work at all has grown substantially, indicating that joblessness is now concentrated among the most alienated members of the population. Other chapters offer striking evidence that racial inequality is still pervasive. Among men, black high school dropouts have more difficulty finding work than their Latino or white counterparts. Likewise, the glass ceiling that limits minority access to higher paying promotions persists even in a strong economy. Prosperity for All? ascribes black disadvantage in the labor force to employer discrimination, particularly when there is strong competition for jobs. As one study illustrates, economic upswings do not appear to change racial preferences among employers, who remain less willing to hire African Americans for more skilled low-wage jobs. Prosperity for All? offers a timely investigation into the impact of strong labor markets on low-skill African-American workers, with important insights into the issues engendered by the weakening of federal assistance, job training, and affirmative action programs.
Puerto Rican Women and Work: Bridges in Transnational Labor is the only comprehensive study of the role of Puerto Rican women workers in the evolution of a transnational labor force in the twentieth century.
This book examines Puerto Rican women workers, both in Puerto Rico and on the U.S. mainland. It contains a range of information--historical, ethnographic, and statistical. The contributors provide insights into the effects of migration and unionization on women's work, taking into account U.S. colonialism and globalization of capitalism throughout the century as well as the impact of Operation Bootstrap. The essays are arranged in chronological order to reveal the evolutionary nature of women's work and the fluctuations in migration, technology, and the economy. This one-of-a-kind collection will be a valuable resource for those interested in women's studies, ethnic studies, and Puerto Rican and Latino studies, as well as labor studies.
In the five years following the passage of federal welfare reform law, the labor force participation of low-income, single mothers with young children climbed by more than 25 percent. With significantly more hours spent outside the home, single working mothers face a serious childcare crunch—how can they provide quality care for their children? In Putting Children First, Ajay Chaudry follows 42 low-income families in New York City over three years to illuminate the plight of these mothers and the ways in which they respond to the difficult challenge of providing for their children's material and developmental needs with limited resources. Using the words of the women themselves, Chaudry tells a startling story. Scarce subsidies, complicated bureaucracies, inflexible work schedules, and limited choices force families to piece together care arrangements that are often unstable, unreliable, inconvenient, and of limited quality. Because their wages are so low, these women are forced to rely on inexpensive caregivers who are often under-qualified to serve the developmental needs of their children. Even when these mothers find good, affordable care, it rarely lasts long because their volatile employment situations throw their needs into constant flux. The average woman in Chaudry's sample had to find five different primary caregivers in her child's first four years, while over a quarter of them needed seven or more in that time. This book lets single, low-income mothers describe the childcare arrangements they desire and the ways that options available to them fail to meet even their most basic needs. As Chaudry tracks these women through erratic childcare spells, he reveals the strategies they employ, the tremendous costs they incur and the anxiety they face when trying to ensure that their children are given proper care. Honest, powerful, and alarming, Putting Children First gives a fresh perspective on work and family for the disadvantaged. It infuses a human voice into the ongoing debate about the effectiveness of welfare reform, showing the flaws of a social policy based solely on personal responsibility without concurrent societal responsibility, and suggesting a better path for the future.
Putting Faith in Partnerships addresses a major conceptual change in American domestic policy, begun by Reagan and now fully realized by the Bush administration: the shift of responsibility for social services from the federal government to states and communities.
In this groundbreaking study of a politically controversial topic---the debut offering in Alan Wolfe's Contemporary Political and Social Issues series---author Stephen Monsma avoids overheated rhetoric in favor of a careful, critical analysis of the hard evidence on whether public-private partnerships really work.
The book is based on in-depth studies of social service programs in Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Dallas. By examining public-private partnerships between government offices and nonprofit organizations, Monsma seeks to understand how these partnerships affect the balance between government's efforts to deal with social problems and the rights of individual citizens to control their own lives.
Putting Faith in Partnerships answers many previously unanswered questions in what may be the most controversial public policy debate today: about the feasibility and wisdom of government agencies forming partnerships with private organizations to provide essential public social services.
Stephen V. Monsma is Professor of Political Science at Pepperdine University. He has served as director of the Office of Quality Review in Michigan's Department of Social Services and is a widely recognized expert on the role of faith-based organizations in social service programs.