Cover image for Latinas and African American women at work : race, gender, and economic inequality
Latinas and African American women at work : race, gender, and economic inequality
Browne, Irene.
Publication Information:
New York : Russell Sage Foundation, [1999]

Physical Description:
x, 441 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Latinas and African American women in the U.S. labor market / Irene Browne -- The economic progress of African American women / Mary Corcoran -- Losing ground: the erosion of the relative earnings of African American women during the 1980s / John Bound and Laura Dresser -- The economic progress of Mexican and Puerto Rican women / Mary Corcoran, Colleen M. Heflin, and Belinda L. Reyes -- Gender, race, ethnicity, and wages / Paula England, Karen Christopher, and Lori L. Reid -- Occupational segregation by race and ethnicity among women workers / Barbara F. Reskin -- Generational paths into and out of work: personal narratives of Puerto Rican women in New York / Aixa N. Cintrón-Vélez -- Mexican-origin women in southwestern labor markets / Susan González Baker -- Getting off and staying off: racial differences in the work route off welfare / Kathryn Edin and Kathleen Mullan Harris -- Stereotypes and realities: images of black women in the labor market / Irene Browne and Ivy Kennelly -- Perceptions of workplace discrimination among black and white professional-managerial women / Elizabeth Higginbotham and Lynn Weber -- Black women and the new world order: toward a fit in the economic marketplace / Delores P. Aldridge -- Now you see 'em, now you don't: race, ethnicity, and gender in labor market research / Barbara F. Reskin and Camille Z. Charles -- Latinas and African American women in the labor market: implications for policy / Joya Misra.
Added Author:
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HD6057.5.U5 L37 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



One of Choice magazine's Outstanding Academic Books of 1999

Accepted wisdom about the opportunities available to African American and Latina women in the U.S. labor market has changed dramatically. Although the 1970s saw these women earning almost as much as their white counterparts, in the 1980s their relative wages began falling behind, and the job prospects plummeted for those with little education and low skills. At the same time, African American women more often found themselves the sole support of their families. While much social science research has centered on the problems facing black male workers, Latinas and African American Women at Work offers a comprehensive investigation into the eroding progress of these women in the U.S. labor market.

The prominent sociologists and economists featured in this volume describe how race and gender intersect to especially disadvantage black and Latina women. Their inquiries encompass three decades of change for women at all levels of the workforce, from those who spend time on the welfare rolls to middle class professionals. Among the many possible sources of increased disadvantage, they particularly examine the changing demands for skills, increasing numbers of immigrants in the job market, the precariousness of balancing work and childcare responsibilities, and employer discrimination. While racial inequity in hiring often results from educational differences between white and minority women, this cannot explain the discrimination faced by women with higher skills. Minority women therefore face a two-tiered hurdle based on race and gender. Although the picture for young African American women has grown bleaker overall, for Latina women, the story is more complex, with a range of economic outcomes among Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, and Central and South Americans.

Latinas and African American Women at Work reveals differences in how professional African American and white women view their position in the workforce, with black women perceiving more discrimination, for both race and gender, than whites. The volume concludes with essays that synthesize the evidence about racial and gender-based obstacles in the labor market.

Given the current heated controversy over female and minority employment, as well as the recent sweeping changes to the national welfare system, the need for empirical data to inform the public debate about disadvantaged women is greater than ever before. The important findings in Latinas and African American Women at Work substantially advance our understanding of social inequality and the pervasive role of race, ethnicity and gender in the economic well-being of American women.

Author Notes

IRENE BROWNE is associate professor of sociology and women's studies at Emory University.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This important volume investigates the economic status of Latinas and African American women in the US, from those on welfare through those with professional occupations. It covers the 1970s through the 1990s, a period of erosion in the relative economic status of minority women. Edited by Brown (sociology, Emory Univ.), the volume has contributions from 19 other academics with ranks from doctoral candidate to full professor at leading universities. Following an introduction on Latinas and African American women in the US labor market, the first five chapters deal with their employment and earnings. The second five chapters address the dynamics of race and gender in the labor market. The last three chapters consider new directions for theory and social policy. Most chapters have extensive tables and figures of demographic and economic variables and are followed by several pages of references. Although there have been many previous studies of discrimination against men of color, this volume concentrates on discrimination against women of color and shows that they must bear a double load of discrimination. The paper, typography, and binding are excellent. Essential for a complete collection on women and work. Academic, research, and professional collections. E. P. Hoffman; Western Michigan University