Out to Work: A History of Wage-Earning Women in the United States

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Oxford University Press, Jan 16, 2003 - Business & Economics - 414 pages
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First published in 1982, this pioneering work traces the transformation of "women's work" into wage labor in the United States, identifying the social, economic, and ideological forces that have shaped our expectations of what women do. Basing her observations upon the personal experience of individual American women set against the backdrop of American society, Alice Kessler-Harris examines the effects of class, ethnic and racial patterns, changing perceptions of wage work for women, and the relationship between wage-earning and family roles. In the 20th Anniversary Edition of this landmark book, the author has updated the original and written a new Afterword.
  

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Contents

Limits of Independence in the Colonial Economy
3
From Household Manufactures to Wage Work
20
Industrial Wage Earners and the Domestic Ideology
45
Why Is It Can a Woman Not Be Virtuous If She Does Mingle with the Toilers?
75
Womens Choices in an Expanding Labor Market
108
Technology Efficiency and Resistance
142
Protective Labor Legislation
180
Ambition and Its Antidote in a New Generation of Female Workers
217
Some Benefits of Labor Segregation in a Decade of Depression
250
Making History Working for Victory
273
The Radical Consequences of Incremental Change
300
A Note of Acknowledgment
320
Epilogue
325
Notes
337
Index
403
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About the author (2003)


Alice Kessler-Harris is the R. Gordon Hoxie Professor of American History at Columbia University, where she also teaches in the Institute for Research on Women and Gender. She is the author of A Woman's Wage, Women Have Always Worked and In Pursuit of Equity.

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