In this updated edition of a groundbreaking classic, Alice Kessler-Harris explores the meanings of women's wages in the United States in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, focusing on three issues that capture the transformation of women's roles: the battle over minimum wage for women, which exposes the relationship between family ideology and workplace demands; the argument concerning equal pay for equal work, which challenges gendered patterns of self-esteem and social organization; and the debate over comparable worth, which seeks to incorporate traditionally female values into new work and family trajectories. Together, these topics illuminate the many ways in which gendered social meaning has been produced, transmitted, and challenged.
IntroductionA Wage Conceived: Value and Need as Measures of a Woman's WorthLaw and a Living: The Gendered Content of "Free Labor" in the Progressive PeriodProviders: An Exploration of Gender Ideology in the 1930sThe Double Meaning of Equal PayThe Just Price, the Free Market, and the Value of WomenA Woman's Wage, Redux
"Poses hard, pressing questions about wage justice and provides the historical perspective that is needed to answer them." -- New York Times Book Review
"Argues persuasively for a feminist viewpoint grounded in intense historical analysis. A challenging, thought-provoking book." -- Library Journal
"A rich collection of essays about the gendered construction of the wage in the twentieth-century United States." -- Women's Review of Books