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

By Teresa Amott; Julie Matthaei | Go to book overview

Chapter 10
THE TRANSFORMATION OF
WOMEN'S WAGE WORK

Over the last two centuries, the paid work performed by women has changed dramatically. This chapter focuses on the transformation of women's occupations over the course of the twentieth century and on the changes in the racial-ethnic, gender, and class hierarchies within paid work.

The transformation of women's jobs must be viewed within the larger framework of the growth of the U.S. economy. Through a combination of immigration and childbearing, the total U.S. population grew more than seven-fold between 1870 and 1980, from almost 40 million to over 225 million. This population growth helped fuel the rapidly industrializing economy, as the labor force grew from 13 to 98 million. 1 Productivity increases in agriculture, combined with growing employment opportunities in the manufacturing and service sectors, meant that the labor force increasingly shifted from the former to the latter. Totally new jobs were created, such as automobile worker and word processor, while others, such as buggy maker and livery-stable keeper, disappeared. Meanwhile, as a growing share of women entered the paid labor force, the workforce became less of a white male preserve. In 1900, white men made up 72 percent of all workers, but by 1980, their share had fallen to less than 50 percent. (See Table 10-1.)

How has the growing participation of white women and people of color in the paid labor force affected racial-ethnic and gender hierarchies? While this movement into paid work brought white women, women of color, and men of color into the same economic arena as white men, as free workers exchanging their labor time for a wage, it did not bring these groups into equality. Even though by 1980 they constituted a minority relative to other groups, white men have continued to monopolize most highly paid and powerful jobs.

As white women and people of color entered the labor market from other labor systems, they found themselves engaged in a struggle for earnings and power in which they were at a disadvantage. Employers commonly used them as a low-wage labor force, often as replacements for or strikebreakers

-315-

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
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

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

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Race, Gender, and Work: A Multicultural Economic History of Women in the United States
Table of contents

Table of contents

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?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 434

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, 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." (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

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.