Named an Outstanding Book in Human Rights in North America by the Gustavus Myers Center




НазваниеNamed an Outstanding Book in Human Rights in North America by the Gustavus Myers Center
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Praise for the First Edition of

RACE, GENDER, AND WORK

Named an Outstanding Book in Human Rights in North America by the Gustavus Myers Center

"Consider Race, Gender, and Work a first reference on women's economic status in the U.S....[Its] broadsweep approach lets the reader understand in outline how the major variables of difference persistently shape social experience."

Women's Review of Books

"A searing portrayal of American economic theory as a vehicle of women's oppression."

Harvard Educational Review

"An excellent and much-needed contribution to the literature on gender, racial and ethnic and class inequalities in the United States."

Amerasia Journal

"Exceptionally readable, providing...important insights into American history....The authors show good balance between identifying the gains made by women in the past three decades and the distance they still must travel to gain equity."

Sex Roles

"A pioneering work."

Gender & Society

"A more sensitive recounting of American women's labor history is rare."

Labor Studies Journal


RACE, GENDER, AND WORK


RACE, GENDER, AND WORK

A Multi-cultural Economic History of Women in the United States

Revised Edition Teresa Amott and Julie Matthaei

South End Press, Boston, MA

Copyright © 1996 by Teresa Amott and Julie Matthaei

Cover Design: Associes Libres, Montreal, Quebec Printed in the USA

Any properly footnoted quotation of up to 500 sequential words may be used without permission, as long as the total number of words quoted does not exceed 2,000. For longer quotations or for a greater number of total words, please write to South End Press for permission.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Amott, Teresa L.

Race, gender, and work: a multicultural history of women in the United States / by Teresa Amott and Julie Matthaei. — Rev. ed. p. cm.

Includes bibliographical references (p. ) and index. ISBN 978-0-89608-573-4

1. Women—United States—Economic conditions. 2. Women—United States—History. 3. Women—Employment—United States. I. Title.

HQ1410.A46 1996 96-10382

305.4'0973—dc20

®^§H^ ,45-c

vvww.southendpress.org South End Press, 7 Brookline Street, #1, Cambridge, MA 02139-4146 11 10 09 08 07 6 7 8 9 10

To Ella,

Ruth and John Amott, and Ernie Keen

J

CONTENTS

List of Tables ..............................x

List of Figures.............................xii

Preface and Acknowledgments....................xiii

PARTI: RACE, GENDER, AND WOMEN'S WORKS

Chapter 1: Introduction........................3

Chapter 2: Race, Class, Gender, and Women's Works:

A Conceptual Framework................11

PART II: HISTORIES OF WOMEN'S WORKS

Chapter 3: I Am the Fire of Time: American Indian Women .... 31

Chapter 4: The Soul of Tierra Madre: Chicana Women.......63

Chapter 5: Whatever Your Fight, Don't Be Ladylike:

European American Women...............95

Chapter 6: We Specialize in the Wholly Impossible:

African American Women................141

Chapter 7: Climbing Gold Mountain: Asian American Women . . . 193 Chapter 8: Yo Misma Fui Mi Ruta; Puerto Rican Women......257

PART III: TRANSFORMING WOMEN'S WORKS

Chapter 9: The Growth of Wage Work...............291

Chapter 10: The Transformation of Women's Wage Work......317

Chapter 11: Seeking Beyond History.................355

Notes..................................363

Appendix A: United States Census Sources..............403

Appendix B: Definitions of Major Occupational Categories......408

Appendix C: Labor Force Participation Rates, 1900-1980, and Share of Families Which Were

Female-Headed, 1960-1980 ............... 412

Appendix D: Some Problems of Comparability Between

Census Years ......................414

Index..................................416

LIST OF TABLES

Table 1-1: United States Population, by Racial-Ethnic Group, 1990 . . 8 Table 3-1: Occupational Distribution of American Indian

Women Workers, 1900-1990............... 48

Table 3-2: U.S. Policy Toward American Indians..........53

Table 4-1: Occupational Distribution of Chicana Workers,

1930-1990 ........................ 76

Table 5-1: Occupational Distribution of European American

Women Workers, 1900-1990 ............... 125

Table 6-1: Occupational Distribution of African American

Women Workers, 1900-1990 ............... 158

Table 6-2: Unemployment Rates by Race-Ethnicity, Gender,

and Age, 1972-1994 ................... 181

Table 6-3: Relative Concentrations of African American Women

in Selected White-Male-Dominated Occupations,

1970-1990 ........................ 189

Table 7-1: Occupational Distribution of Chinese American

Women Workers, 1900-1990 ............... 207

Table 7-2: Occupational Distribution of Japanese American

Women Workers, 1900-1990 ............... 220

Table 7-3: Occupational Distribution of Filipina American

Workers, 1930-1990 ................... 247

Table 7-4: Relative Concentrations of Women in Selected

White-Male-Dominated Occupations, 1990 ....... 250

Table 8-1: Occupational Distribution of Island Puerto Rican

Women Workers, 1899-1990 ............... 264

Table 8-2: Occupational Distribution of U.S. Puerto Rican Women

Workers, 1960-1990 ................... 276

Table 8-3: Labor Force Participation, Unemployment, and

Employment-to-Population Ratios in Puerto Rico,

by Gender, 1970-1990 .................. 278

Table 9-1: Gainful Employment Rates, by Gender and

Racial-Ethnic Group, 1920 ................ 300

Table 9-2: Women's Gainful Employment Rates by Marital

Status and Domesticity Rates, by Racial-Ethnic

Group, 1920 ....................... 301

Table 9-3: Women's Labor Force Participation Rates by Marital Status

and Domesticity Rates, by Racial-Ethnic Group,

1920 and 1990 ...................... 306

Table 9-4: Labor Force Participation Rates,

by Gender and Race-Ethnicity, 1920 and 1990 ...... 307

Table 9-5: Time Spent per Day on Unpaid and Paid Work,

by Women and Men, 1960s and 1970s..........308

Table 9-6: Women's Median Incomes, by Racial-Ethnic

Group, 1990 ....................... 310

Table 9-7: Poverty Rates of Female-Headed Families,

by Racial-Ethnic Group, 1970-1990 ........... 314

Table 9-8: Child Support by Racial-Ethnic Group, 1989 ....... 315

Table 10-1: Racial-Ethnic and Gender Composition of Employment,

1900 and 1990 ...................... 318

Table 10-2: Private Household Workers, by Gender and

Racial-Ethnic Group, 1900 ................ 325

Table 10-3: Share of Employed Women Working in Private House­hold Service, by Racial-Ethnic Group, 1900-1990 ... 327 Table 10-4: Share of Employed Women Working in Service

Occupations (Other than Private Household Service),

by Racial-Ethnic Group, 1900-1990 ........... 329

Table 10-5: The Distribution of Protective Service Jobs,

1900 and 1990 ...................... 330

Table 10-6: Women in Agriculture, by Racial-Ethnic Group, 1900 . . 332 Table 10-7: Share of Employed Women Working in Agriculture,

by Racial-Ethnic Group, 1900-1990.......... . 333

Table 10-8: Share of Employed Women Working in Manufacturing,

by Racial-Ethnic Group, 1900-1990 ........... 335

Table 10-9: Share of Employed Women Working in Clerical

Occupations, by Racial-Ethnic Group, 1900-1990 .... 338 Table 10-10: Share of Employed Women Working in Professional

and Technical Occupations, by Racial-Ethnic

Group, 1900-1990 .................... 342

Table 10-11: Definition of Labor Market Segments, 1990 ....... 344

Table 10-12: Distribution of Workers Across Labor Market Segments,

by Racial-Ethnic Group and Gender, 1990 ........ 345

Table 10-13: Median Incomes of Full-Time, Full-Year Workers,

by Gender and Race-Ethnicity, 1990 ........... 348

Table 10-14: Unemployment Rates, by Race-Ethnicity

and Gender, 1990 .................... 349

Table 10-15: Per Capita Income and Poverty Rates,

by Racial-Ethnic Group, 1990 .............. 350

LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 2-1: The Sexual Division of Labor..............15

Figure 2-2: The Social Constniction of Race-Ethnicity........20

Figure 2-3: Racial Hierarchies....................21

Figure 3-1: The Distribution of American Indian and European American Workers Across Labor Market Segments, by Gender, 1990 ..................... 60

Figure 4-1: The Distribution of Chicana/o and European

American Workers Across Labor Market Segments,

by Gender, 1990 ..................... 87

Figure 5-1: The Distribution of European American Workers

Across Labor Market Segments, by Gender, 1990 .... 136

Figure 6-1: Labor Force Participation Rates of African American

and European American Women, 1900-1990 ...... 166

Figure 6-2: The Distribution of African American and European American Workers Across Labor Market Segments, by Gender, 1990 ..................... 188

Figure 7-1: The Distribution of Chinese American and European American Workers Across Labor Market Segments, by Gender, 1990 ..................... 216

Figure 7-2: The Distribution of Japanese American and European American Workers Across Labor Market Segments, by Gender, 1990 ..................... 234

Figure 7-3: The Distribution of Filipina/o American and European American Workers Across Labor Market Segments, by Gender, 1990 ..................... 248

Figure 8-1: The Distribution of Island Puerto Rican, U.S. Puerto Rican, and European American Workers Across Labor Market Segments, by Gender, 1990 ........... 287

Figure 9-1: From Non-Capitalist to Capitalist Labor Systems.....293

Figure 9-2: Women's Labor Force Participation Rates,

by Racial-Ethnic Group, 1900-1990 ........... 305

Figure 9-3: Female-Headed Families as Share of All Families,

by Racial-Ethnic Group, 1960-1990 ........... 313

Figure 10-1: The Distribution of Women Workers Across Labor

Market Segments, by Racial-Ethnic Group, 1990 ..... 346

PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

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 dien-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


RACE, GENDER, AND WORK

Southern Women: A Bibliography of Social Science Research, was particu­larly helpful and inspirational.1

At both the early and later stages of this project, we have drawn on the talents and perseverance of many research assistants. Betsy Wright, of Women for Economic Justice, urged us to incorporate the stories of struggle and resistance into our analysis of the political economy of women's work, as well as uncovered many such stories; her insight and efforts immeasurably enriched the final product. We are also indebted to Michelle Anglade, Trina Haque, Tricia Horn, Jennifer Johnston, Chris McGee, Christine McRae, Sarah Pryor, and Gwynne Wiatrowski for research assistance which often involved important new insights or suggestions. In the final stages of the "book factory," Kim Cuddy and Jenn Kapuscik took responsibility for the difficult and laborious tasks of checking sources for the footnotes and bibliography, and called our attention to gaps and errors in the text. Loren Eng, Jodi Flora, and Diane Matokaitis navigated us through a century of Census data, compiling tables and figures which were essential to the project with great care and patience.

We are indebted to Wellesley College, the Women's Studies Research Associate Program of Harvard Divinity School, and Bucknell University for financial assistance which made possible most of the research for the project. Claire Loranz of the Wellesley College Library demonstrated time and again her uncanny ability to locate needles in haystacks, while the rest of the library staff—especially the Interlibrary Loan office—was very helpful. At Bucknell, Zoya Jenks, Isabella O'Neill-Lack, Dot Thompson, and Pam Ross all provided crucial library help when deadlines were tight. Helen Graham, Norma Wakely, and Regina Coughlin provided excellent secretarial support. And the students in our classes at Wellesley, Harvard, and Bucknell, especially those in Economics 243, Writing 125Q, HDS 2493, and Economics 333, provided excellent feedback on the work in progress.

Many colleagues and friends provided us with information or materials, read and commented on various drafts of the project, or helped with the general development of our ideas. We owe thanks to Randy Albelda, Pat Albers, Delia Aguilar, Marcellus Andrews, Gloria Anzaldua, Chris Bose, Diana Caballero, Claudia Castenada, Connie Chan, Connie Chisolm, Judy Claude, Alice Colon-Warren, Kim Cuddy, Loren Eng, Ernestine Enomoto, Yukiko Hanawa, bell hooks, Jacqueline Jones, Jenn Kapuscik, Louise Lamphere, Lercie Marrero, Mart Matsuda, Fred Matthaei, John Miller, Hung Ng, Laurie Nisonoff, Bruce Norton, Margarita Ostolaza, Milagros Padilla, Eduardo Padro, Tirsa Quinones, Migdalia Reyes, Miriam Jimenez Roman, Abel Valenzuela, Nancy Wechsler, Nan Wiegersma, Rhonda Williams, and Leah Wise.

Many friends besides those listed above supported us through the

Preface

difficult times and relaxed with us in good times. Our heartfelt thanks go to Betsy Aron, Maureen Brodoff, Toni Byrd, Gene Chenoweth, the Dollars & Sense Collective, Pam and Jim Crotty, Karen Dugger, Jean Entine, Michael Hillard, Ernie Keen, Jan Knoedler, the MacEwan-Davies family, Rosa McGill, Amy and Malora and Maru and Mimi and Morgan Matthaei, Libby Meadow, Michael Moohr, Ted Murphy, Chris O'Sullivan, Carol Reichenthal, Nancy Ryan, Charles Sackrey, Brenda Steinberg, Paul Susman, Ellen Wade, Stewart Wecker, and Ann Witte. Our dogs Pepito and Noche sat patiently—and not so patiently—at our feet during countless hours when they would rather have been chasing squirrels, while our cats sat on whatever papers they could find. Kassy, Kimmy, Nick, Anthony, Jill, and Abby provided the exact combination of distraction and company needed during long hot summer days of work, and were very patient when the book made Julie unavailable.

We wish to thank the South End Press Collective for their excellent work on the book and for the important role they have played on the left since 1977. Ellen Herman, Cynthia Peters, and Todd Jailer helped focus the project. Our editor for the first edition, Karin Aguilar-San Juan, tried to hold us to deadlines, untangled confused syntax, and breathed new life into our sometimes tired prose, as well as making very helpful suggestions for revisions. The second edition was made possible by the combined efforts of Loie Hayes, Lynn Lu, and Sonia Shah. We especially wish to thank Lynn, the editor for the second edition, for her skills, patience, perseverance, and efficiency.

Since we first met 12 years ago, we have collaborated in so much political work and so many writing projects that it is now nearly impossible to attribute any portion of this work to one or the other, and only alphabetical accident puts Teresa's name ahead of Julie's. We literally wrote most of the first draft while sitting in the same space, in almost continual conversation, and most of the second draft on the phone. In this process, our style of collaboration has been tested by disagreement and exhaustion, and strength­ened by commitment and humor. This book is, above all, a product of our friendship, a friendship which remains its own best reward.


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