did not seem to matter. We no longer debate the significance of seemingly trivial date like how many boarders a family took in; how often a young garment worker might resort to prostitution to make ends meet; how deeply the workplace utilized sexual harassment; what kinds of diet a mother could feed a family on a single wage earner's income. Beyond that we begin to understand how women's place in family life rests at the heart of analyses of economic development. Early nineteenth-century Americans established trading networks with the Chinese that could not have existed without women's sustained commitments to family linkages. The emergence of the notion of a "male breadwinner" family and its relationship to processes of capital accumulation and industrialization are now central to comparative history. Historians now grappling with the creation and decline of the welfare state in the Western world begin by asking questions about how different states perceived women's roles in social reproduction and the labor force. And the category of citizenship has now been broken apart--its acquisition and the barriers to exercising it now increasingly the heart of political analysis among nations with empowered populations. Perhaps these intellectual initiatives have marginalized the
Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Mar 15, 2015
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