Living Wages, Equal Wages: Gender and Labor Market Policies in the United States

By Deborah M. Figart; Ellen Mutari et al. | Go to book overview

9

Living wages, equal wages revisited

Contemporary movements and policy initiatives

At the end of the twentieth century and in the beginning of the twenty-first, the quest for living wages and equal wages has once again been reconfigured. Movements for living wages have broadened their constituency, incorporating workers initially left out of minimum wage legislation. Similarly, the fight for equal wages, initially settling for a narrow conception of equal pay for equal work, returned to a broader definition of equal pay for work of equal value. Both of these revived movements have at their very center the people who have been left behind in the wage regulations we have discussed so far: people in female-dominated and minority-concentrated jobs. These two precepts, living wages and equal wages, have become increasingly intertwined. Further, the debate about these issues indicates widespread (but by no means universal) acceptance of the idea that women as well as men support dependents. More than seventy years after the Women's Bureau attempted to expand the concept of breadwinner to include women, the new living wage movement is centered around the need for a gender-neutral family-sustaining wage.

Consider the story of Sammie Sims. In 1996, an article appeared in the Christian Science Monitor profiling Sims, a maid on Chicago, Illinois' “south side” who worked in a city-sponsored retirement home. Earning the thenminimum wage of $4.25 per hour, Sims expressed her frustration and sense of injustice about her situation. “I've just about had it; I'm paid next to nothing, ” she is quoted as saying. “The city has got to start paying us a wage we can live on.” While some might view working as a maid as inherently low-skilled work, Sims did not see it that way. She defined her work in terms of the care she gave the pensioners: “I love taking care of my elders and I work hard and do the best I can. But right feelings and hard work should pay something I can live on” (Tyson 1996:1).

The narrative implicitly told by the reporter who profiled her is as interesting as the story of Sammie Sims herself. Writing about the efforts of Sims and other Chicago workers to pass new laws that would raise their wages, staff reporter James Tyson described those initiatives as ones that “would enable a breadwinner to earn an annual income above the federal poverty line … for a family of four” (Tyson 1996:1, emphasis added). Sammie Sims

-179-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Living Wages, Equal Wages: Gender and Labor Market Policies in the United States
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • Series Editor'ss Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Abbreviations xiii
  • Part I - Laying the Groundwork 1
  • 1 - Introduction 3
  • 2 - Waged Work in the Twentieth Century 16
  • 3 - Two Faces of Wages Within the Economics Tradition 34
  • 4 - The Third Face 52
  • Part II - Wage Regulations in the Twentieth Century 65
  • 5 - An Experiment in Wage Regulation 67
  • 6 - A Living for Breadwinners 91
  • 7 - Job Evaluation and the Ideology of Equal Pay 120
  • 8 - Legislating Equal Wages 143
  • Part III - The Century Ahead 177
  • 9 - Living Wages, Equal Wages Revisited 179
  • 10 - Applying Feminist Political Economy to Wage Setting 208
  • Notes 221
  • References 231
  • Index 252
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 258

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.