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ERIC Number: ED222441
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Sep
Pages: 23
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
The Struggle To Survive: Work for Racial Ethnic Women in the 18th- and 19th-Century United States.
Higginbotham, Elizabeth
The work situations of Black, Mexican American, and Chinese immigrant women in 18th- and 19th-century United States are explored. Generally, when engaged in agricultural work, all ethnic people were considered units of labor. However, because the slave owner needed to perpetuate his property, Black women were allowed lower rates of production when bearing and nursing children. After freedom, sharecropping created the same situation; although Black women attempted to perform domestic chores for their own families, landowners demanded that they work in the fields. In industry, the need for cheap labor created the influx of Chinese male workers, most of whom left their families in China. The majority of Chinese women who came to the United States engaged in prostitution. Since the pay of Chinese men was low, a prostitute's pay was also low. Also, Chinese women were always vulnerable to sexual exploitation. Similarly, with the loss of their land rights, Mexican Americans were also forced into the labor system. To supplement poor pay, the women had to work as domestics and as singers and dancers. In all cases, labor which would specifically benefit the family was done after obligations to the commercial market were met. (KC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Ford Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, (San Francisco, CA, September 6-10, 1982).