"A fascinating history of…[a craft] that preceded and made possible civilization itself." —New York Times Book Review New discoveries about the textile arts reveal women's unexpectedly influential role in ancient societies. Twenty thousand years ago, women were making and wearing the first clothing created from spun fibers. In fact, right up to the Industrial Revolution the fiber arts were an enormous economic force, belonging primarily to women. Despite the great toil required in making cloth and clothing, most books on ancient history and economics have no information on them. Much of this gap results from the extreme perishability of what women produced, but it seems clear that until now descriptions of prehistoric and early historic cultures have omitted virtually half the picture. Elizabeth Wayland Barber has drawn from data gathered by the most sophisticated new archaeological methods—methods she herself helped to fashion. In a "brilliantly original book" (Katha Pollitt, Washington Post Book World), she argues that women were a powerful economic force in the ancient world, with their own industry: fabric.
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A unique overview of the issues surrounding women's work from 1840-1940.
American schoolteaching is one of few occupations to have undergone a thorough gender shift yet previous explanations have neglected a key feature of the transition: its regional character. By the early 1800s, far higher proportions of women were teaching in the Northeast than in the South, and this regional difference was reproduced as settlers moved West before the Civil War. What explains the creation of these divergent regional arrangements in the East, their recreation in the West, and their eventual disappearance by the next century? In Women's Work the authors blend newly available quantitative evidence with historical narrative to show that distinctive regional school structures and related cultural patterns account for the initial regional difference, while a growing recognition that women could handle the work after they temporarily replaced men during the Civil War helps explain this widespread shift to female teachers later in the century. Yet despite this shift, a significant gender gap in pay and positions remained. This book offers an original and thought-provoking account of a remarkable historical transition.
While most women’s studies texts function “topically” as “readings” for courses and general use, Women’s Work: A Survey of Scholarship By and About Women takes a broad spectrum of women’s disciplines--psychological, artistic, religious, and philosophical--and gives you a diverse, interdisciplinary view of this important and ever-expanding field of study in one accessible volume. You’ll see that women are leading the world into the twenty-first century in such areas as education, business, health, and science. You’ll also find your appreciation for the current developments in women’s studies increase as you see how far-reaching and multifaceted this crucial discipline really is. Women’s Work avoids the compilations of topical readings that tend to bog down typical women’s studies courses and explores the different disciplines that continue to make this field central to the development of the academic world community. You’ll find your perspective on women’s studies expand and take on new meaning as you delve into these and other areas: feminist approaches to research the lack of women in science and feminist critiques of science women and health psychology and discussions on sex differences, sex similarities, and gender roles communication differences between men and women women in literature, art history, and metaphysics Judeo-Christian religions and goddess religions This comprehensive compendium has something for everyone interested in the massive contribution that women have made--and will continue to make--in all areas of human development. All readers, especially women’s studies scholars, professors, students, and informed members of the general public looking for an excellent, up-to-date resource concerning the general direction of feminist disciplines today, will definitely want a copy of Women’s Work.
In economies all around the world, the narrow, conventional definition of work renders vast areas of female labour invisible or underpaid. Lewenhak gives a detailed account.
Women scientists working in small, for-profit companies are eight times more likely than their university counterparts to head a research lab. Why? Laurel Smith-Doerr reveals that, contrary to widely held assumptions, strong career opportunities for women and minorities do not depend on the formal policies and long job ladders that large, hierarchical bureaucracies provide. In fact, highly internally linked bio technology firms are far better workplaces for female scientists (when compared to university settings or established pharmaceutical companies), offering women richer opportunities for career advancement. Based on quantitative analyses of more than two-thousand life scientists careers and qualitative studies of scientists in eight biotech and university settings, Smith-Doerr s work shows clearly that the network form of organization, rather than fostering old boy networks, provides the organizational flexibility that not only stimulates innovation, but also aids women s success.
In Women’s Work, Courtney Thorsson reconsiders the gender, genre, and geography of African American nationalism as she explores the aesthetic history of African American writing by women. Building on and departing from the Black Arts Movement, the literary fiction of such writers as Toni Cade Bambara, Paule Marshall, Gloria Naylor, Ntozake Shange, and Toni Morrison employs a cultural nationalism—practiced by their characters as "women's work"—that defines a distinct contemporary literary movement, demanding attention to the continued relevance of nation in post–Black Arts writing. Identifying five forms of women's work as organizing, dancing, mapping, cooking, and inscribing, Thorsson shows how these writers reclaimed and revised cultural nationalism to hail African America.
Contents: 1 Women's Work in Canada: The Historical Perspective 2 Participation in the Workplace 3 Wages and Inequality 4 The Economics of Market Dualism 5 Technology, Free Trade, and Economic Restructuring: Women and the New Economic Order 6 Women and the Labour Movement 7 The Future: Proposals for Change Notes on Sources and Further Reading