Race, Gender, and Work: A Multicultural Economic History of Women in the United States

Race, Gender, and Work: A Multicultural Economic History of Women in the United States

Race, Gender, and Work: A Multicultural Economic History of Women in the United States

Race, Gender, and Work: A Multicultural Economic History of Women in the United States

Excerpt

In the final months of writing this book, we came to see the project as the "book factory," because the book, like any manufactured product, owes its shape to the many hands and minds who collaborated to bring it into being. Every product has its inventors, its engineers, its skilled craftspeople, and its inspectors, as well as those who manufactured the inputs that went into producing it. There are many who have worked on or otherwise contributed to this project whom we would like to thank.

The book had its origins in a collective writing project undertaken by the Economic Literacy Project of Women for Economic Justice, a Boston- based organization which seeks to empower low-income women and women of color through a variety of organizing, advocacy, and educational projects. The Economic Literacy Project, started in 1980, is made up of feminist social scientists who provide training workshops, public speaking, and consulting services to groups working for social change. Over six years ago, the group began writing a pamphlet to address the then-popular concept of the feminization of poverty in a way that also took into account race and class oppression. Many women worked on the pamphlet, and Caren Grown, Elaine McCrate, Gail Shields, Pamela Sparr, and Nan Wiegersma each wrote substantial portions. However, the subject proved too complex for large-group writing, and, in 1985, we took on the project, eventually expanding the pamphlet into this book-length work. Women for Economic Justice provided critical resources and inspiration at the pamphlet stage of the project, and the organization will receive some of the proceeds from the sale of the book.

Over the years, many of our thoughts on the interconnections of race, gender, sexual preference, class, and nationality have been formed in discussions and study with our sisters in the Marxist Feminist 1 group. The analysis and sisterhood we continue to find in that group have informed all of our intellectual and political work. We are also indebted to the countless researchers on women whose painstaking work has opened up women's myriad experiences to our view, particularly the women of color who have insisted that the method as well as the content of women's studies requires radical transformation. The work of the Memphis State University Center for Research on Women, especially their bibliography, Women of Color and Southern Women. A Bibliography of Social Science Research . . .

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