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Library Journal Review
Bergmann (Economics, Univ. of Maryland) details the data, and their implications, on the subject of women and work: increasing labor force participation, typically low pay, occupational segregation, and disproportionate share of home responsibilities. She presents the facts, summarizes and evaluates contending analyses, and proposes solutions in nontechnical language. While her concern for the status of women is evident, she deals objectively with controversial issues relating to women's employment, such as affirmative action, public solutions for child care, and the effect of women's paid employment on marriage. Recommended for specialists and laypersons who want a compact but thorough treatment of this area and for courses in women's studies and labor studies. Frieda Shoenberg Rozen, Labor Studies, Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, Pa. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
In this very provocative book, Bergmann analyzes the economic emergence of women and then offers a policy agenda to achieve economic equality. The book begins with an evaluation of the economic and social forces that underwrote the dramatic surge in women's labor force participation rates in this century. Next she tackles the sources of the persistent male-female wage gap. Simply put, a quadrupling of real wages pulled women into the labor market, while occupational segregation preserved wage differentials. The second portion of the book focuses upon homemaking. Less comprehensive than the paid-work discussion, this section will draw more attention because Bergmann lobbies for an end to welfare for single mothers. The volume concludes with a 12-point agenda for reform that follows logically from the preceding analyses. Bergmann seeks and merits the widest possible audience for this book. A widely recognized expert, she presents economic issues with uncommon clarity and freedom from academic jargon. Indeed, the book accomplishes its dual objectives. It offers a comprehensive approach that integrates and evaluates the plethora of more specialized studies. With an excellent bibliography and numerous tables and charts, this book will immediately become a major reference work. The policy agenda will command a broad readership since it constitutes a major salvo in our reevaluation of sex roles. Academic and public library collections.-D. Lindstrom, University of Wisconsin-Madison