front cover of Earning Power
Earning Power
Women and Work in Los Angeles, 1880-1930
Eileen Wallis
University of Nevada Press, 2010

The half-century between 1880 and 1930 saw rampant growth in many American cities and an equally rapid movement of women into the work force. In Los Angeles, the city not only grew from a dusty cow town to a major American metropolis but also offered its residents myriad new opportunities and challenges.Earning Power examines the role that women played in this growth as they attempted to make their financial way in a rapidly changing world. Los Angeles during these years was one of the most ethnically diverse and gender-balanced American cities. Moreover, its accelerated urban growth generated a great deal of economic, social, and political instability. In Earning Power, author Eileen V. Wallis examines how women negotiated issues of gender, race, ethnicity, and class to gain access to professions and skilled work in Los Angeles. She also discusses the contributions they made to the region’s history as political and social players, employers and employees, and as members of families. Wallis reveals how the lives of women in the urban West differed in many ways from those of their sisters in more established eastern cities. She finds that the experiences of women workers force us to reconsider many assumptions about the nature of Los Angeles’s economy, as well as about the ways women participated in it. The book also considers how Angelenos responded to the larger national social debate about women’s work and the ways that American society would have to change in order to accommodate working women. Earning Power is a major contribution to our understanding of labor in the urban West during this transformative period and of the crucial role that women played in shaping western cities, economies, society, and politics.


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The Earps Invade Southern California
Bootlegging Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and the Old Soldiers' Home
Don Chaput
University of North Texas Press, 2020

front cover of Ethnic Los Angeles
Ethnic Los Angeles
Roger Waldinger
Russell Sage Foundation, 1996
Since 1965 more immigrants have come to Los Angeles than anywhere else in the United States. These newcomers have rapidly and profoundly transformed the city's ethnic makeup and sparked heated debate over their impact on the region's troubled economy. Ethnic Los Angeles presents a multi-investigator study of L.A.'s immigrant population, exploring the scope, characteristics, and consequences of ethnic transition in the nation's second most populous urban center. Using the wealth of information contained in the U.S. censuses of 1970, 1980, and 1990, essays on each of L.A.'s major ethnic groups tell who the immigrants are, where they come from, the skills they bring and their sources of employment, and the nature of their families and social networks. The contributors explain the history of legislation and economic change that made the city a magnet for immigration, and compare the progress of new immigrants to those of previous eras. Recent immigrants to Los Angeles follow no uniform course of adaptation, nor do they simply assimilate into the mainstream society. Instead, they have entered into distinct niches at both the high and low ends of the economic spectrum. While Asians and Middle Easterners have thrived within the medical and technical professions, low-skill newcomers from Central America provide cheap labor in light manufacturing industries. As Ethnic Los Angeles makes clear, the city's future will depend both on how well its economy accommodates its diverse population, and on how that population adapts to economic changes. The more prosperous immigrants arrived already possessed of advanced educations and skills, but what does the future hold for less-skilled newcomers? Will their children be able to advance socially and economically, as the children of previous immigrants once did? The contributors examine the effect of racial discrimination, both in favoring low-skilled immigrant job seekers over African Americans, and in preventing the more successful immigrants and native-born ethnic groups from achieving full economic parity with whites. Ethnic Los Angeles is an illuminating portrait of a city whose unprecedented changes are sure to be replicated in other urban areas as new concentrations of immigrants develop. Backed by detailed demographic information and insightful analyses, this volume engages all of the issues that are central to today's debates about immigration, ethnicity, and economic opportunity in a post-industrial urban society.

front cover of Everyday Desistance
Everyday Desistance
The Transition to Adulthood Among Formerly Incarcerated Youth
Abrams, Laura S.
Rutgers University Press, 2017
Winner of the 2020 Society for Social Work and Research Book Award

In Everyday Desistance, Laura Abrams and Diane J. Terry examine the lives of young people who spent considerable time in and out of correctional institutions as adolescents. These formerly incarcerated youth often struggle with the onset of adult responsibilities at a much earlier age than their more privileged counterparts. In the context of urban Los Angeles, with a large-scale gang culture and diminished employment prospects, further involvement in crime appears almost inevitable. Yet, as Abrams and Terry point out, these formerly imprisoned youth are often quite resilient and can be successful at creating lives for themselves after  months or even years of living in institutions run by the juvenile justice system.
This book narrates the day-to-day experiences of these young men and women, focusing on their attempts to surmount the challenges of adulthood, resisting a return to criminal activity, and formulating long-term goals for a secure adult future.

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