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In Pursuit of Equity: Women, Men, and the Quest for Economic Citizenship in 20th-Century America. By Alice Kessler-Harris. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001. xi, 374 pp. $35.00, ISBN 0-19-503835-5.)

In Pursuit of Equity: Women, Men, and the Quest for Economic Citizenship in 20th-Century America.... Book Reviews cally denied them “economic citizenship.” In Pursuit of Equity: Women, Men, and the Quest for Economic Citizenship in 20th-Cen- Conferring the right to work in one’s chosen tury America. By Alice Kessler-Harris. (New pursuit, economic citizenship (a revivified ver- York: Oxford University Press, 2001. xi, 374 sion of the nineteenth-century “family wage”) pp. $35.00, ISBN 0-19-503835-5.) also offered “customary and legal acknowledg- ment of personhood” and key political rights. Kessler-Harris’s signal contribution is to show Recently I taught a course on the history of not merely, as have several scholars, that social American women and work. Each week, a few of the students marveled that women did not policies were gendered. But by granting eco- “work” until the 1980s. Puzzled, I reminded nomic citizenship to white male breadwin- them of the material we had previously cov- ners, such policies implicitly and sometimes ered, which demonstrated irrefutably (I explicitly rendered others less than “persons” under the law. This definition of citizenship thought) that women had indeed worked, fixed a pattern that discouraged alternative vi- performing both paid and unpaid labor, inside and outside the home. After reading Alice sions of justice and fairness, for it encouraged Kessler-Harris’s important http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of American History Oxford University Press

In Pursuit of Equity: Women, Men, and the Quest for Economic Citizenship in 20th-Century America. By Alice Kessler-Harris. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001. xi, 374 pp. $35.00, ISBN 0-19-503835-5.)

The Journal of American History , Volume 89 (2) – Sep 1, 2002

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Publisher
Oxford University Press
Copyright
© Published by Oxford University Press.
ISSN
0021-8723
eISSN
1945-2314
DOI
10.2307/3092178
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Book Reviews cally denied them “economic citizenship.” In Pursuit of Equity: Women, Men, and the Quest for Economic Citizenship in 20th-Cen- Conferring the right to work in one’s chosen tury America. By Alice Kessler-Harris. (New pursuit, economic citizenship (a revivified ver- York: Oxford University Press, 2001. xi, 374 sion of the nineteenth-century “family wage”) pp. $35.00, ISBN 0-19-503835-5.) also offered “customary and legal acknowledg- ment of personhood” and key political rights. Kessler-Harris’s signal contribution is to show Recently I taught a course on the history of not merely, as have several scholars, that social American women and work. Each week, a few of the students marveled that women did not policies were gendered. But by granting eco- “work” until the 1980s. Puzzled, I reminded nomic citizenship to white male breadwin- them of the material we had previously cov- ners, such policies implicitly and sometimes ered, which demonstrated irrefutably (I explicitly rendered others less than “persons” under the law. This definition of citizenship thought) that women had indeed worked, fixed a pattern that discouraged alternative vi- performing both paid and unpaid labor, inside and outside the home. After reading Alice sions of justice and fairness, for it encouraged Kessler-Harris’s important

Journal

The Journal of American HistoryOxford University Press

Published: Sep 1, 2002

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