TO TOIL THE LIVELONG DAY"": America's Women At Work, 1780-1980 by Carol & Mary Beth Norton--Eds. Groneman

TO TOIL THE LIVELONG DAY"": America's Women At Work, 1780-1980

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A scholarly look at two centuries of the American working woman--paid and unpaid, domestic and public, agrarian and industrial. Groneman (History/John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY) and Norton (History/Cornell) edited this collection of papers that were delivered at the Sixth Berkshire Conference on the History of Women. The papers cover four periods: 1780-1880, when issues of self-sufficiency and slavery were of the essence; 1870-1920, particularly in relation to agriculture, working-class leisure, and family troubles; 1910-1940, when black women made strides and farm mechanization changed the role of women; and 1940 to the present, focusing on the UAW Women's Bureau, female Mexican domestic workers in Texas, and awakening women's consciousness. In general, all of the essays deal with the ways in which gender shaped the experiences of working women, their attitudes about the norms of accepted behavior, their relationships to other workers and to their own families. As in recent scholarship, the essays buttress the consensus that women's work has always been linked in some ways to their families. In the end, the papers suggest that a more broad view be taken of kin and community networks, leisure activities, and women in relation to families and the workplace. Insightful, but put on your thinking cap for this one.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1987
Publisher: Cornell Univ.