Case studies of community and workplace organizing that redefine our notions of "the political"
Women and the Politics of Empowerment
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edited by Ann Bookman and Sandra Morgen
According to popular conception, working-class women in the United States are part of the "silent majority." But during the 1970s and early 1980s these women have been far from silent. Speaking out both individually and collectively, they have staked new political ground for themselves and their families. Drawing on case studies of community and workplace organizing, these original essays redefine our notions of "the political" and address a wide range of topics, including the creation and reform of unions, domestic service, street vending, working-class education, health care, and social services.
The contributors have focused on working-class women from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds employed in a wide variety of jobs. Women and the Politics of Empowerment documents the story of women learning about the sources of their powerlessness and mobilizing to increase their power.
"Drawing together an excellent compilation of case studies of community and workplace organizing, Bookman and Morgen redefine the political arena and process. They focus on the statuses of working-class and low-income women from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, thereby giving attention to women who have been largely ignored as actors in the political arena…. These rich and varied case materials are useful for the scholar-researcher, the activist, and for the teacher in women's studies, social work, public policy, education, and public health."
"Don't let the title…scare you…. The book is devoted to bridging the gap between theory and practice, between feminism and working-class women. And it succeeds, through fourteen widely disparate, yet complementary essays about working-class women, Black, Latina and white, struggling on the job and in their communities for social change."
Rethinking Women and Politics: An Introductory Essay Sandra Morgen and Ann Bookman
Part I: Expanding and Redefining the Political Terrain
Part II: Gender and the Shaping of Women's Political Consciousness
Part III: Reverberations among the Spheres: Family, Workplace, and Community Networks
Part IV: Conditions, Catalysts, and Constraints: Political Economy and Grassroots Activism
Part V: Grassroots Organizing and Political Theory: Toward A Synthesis
Ann Bookman is Assistant Director of the Mary Ingranham bunting Institute at Radcliffe College.
Sandra Morgen is Assistant Professor of Women's Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
In the series
Women in the Political Economy, edited by Ronnie J. Steinberg.
No longer active.
Women in the Political Economy, edited by Ronnie J. Steinberg, includes books on women and issues of work, family, social movements, politics, feminism, and empowerment. It emphasizes women's roles in society and the social construction of gender and also explores current policy issues like comparable worth, international development, job training, and parental leave.