In this Book

A Woman's Wage
summary

In this pathbreaking book, Alice Kessler-Harris explores the meanings of women's wages in the United States in the twentieth century, focusing on three sets of 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 over equal pay for equal work, which challenges gendered patterns of self-esteem and social organization; and the current debate over comparable worth, which seeks to incorporate traditionally female values into new work and family trajectories. Together these issues trace the many ways in which gendered meaning has been produced, transmitted, and challenged.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title page, Copyright, Dedication
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  1. Contents
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  1. Foreword
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xi-xii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-5
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  1. 1. The Wage Conceived: Value and Need as Measures of a Woman's Worth
  2. pp. 6-32
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  1. 2. Law and a Living: The Gendered Content of "Free Labor" in the Progressive Period
  2. pp. 33-56
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  1. 3. Providers: An Exploration of Gender Ideology in the 1930s
  2. pp. 57-80
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  1. 4. The Double Meaning of Equal Pay
  2. pp. 81-112
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  1. 5. The Just Price, the Free Market, and the Value of Women
  2. pp. 113-129
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 130-160
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 161-170
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