The other women's movement : workplace justice and social rights in modern America / Dorothy Sue Cobble.

By: Cobble, Dorothy SueMaterial type: TextTextSeries: JSTOR eBooksPolitics and society in twentieth-century America: Publisher: Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2004Description: 1 online resource (xiv, 315 p.) : ill., portsISBN: 9781400840861 (electronic bk.); 1400840864 (electronic bk.)Subject(s): Women -- Employment -- United States | Women's rights -- United StatesAdditional physical formats: Print version:: other women's movement.DDC classification: 331.4 LOC classification: HD6095 | .C58 2004Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
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"A Princeton University Press e-book"--Cover.

Includes bibliographical references (p. [231]-298) and index.

Description based on print version record.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

This third title by Cobble (Inst. of Management & Labor Relations, Rutgers Univ.), whose first book was a history of waitress unionism (Dishing It Out) and whose second was an edited collection of essays (whose Women and Unions), shows the results of prodigious research in the service of "labor feminism," called by others "working-class feminism." She explains how this powerful and equally good form of feminism was eclipsed by "equal rights feminism," the middle-class feminism that came to dominance in the 1960s. Labor feminists wanted both the equality and the special treatment given by protective legislation, and they did not see incompatibility between the two. Labor feminists value employee representation and collective power rather than the individual's upward mobility, which they might characterize as "thrills for the few." One result of these diverging feminisms was that equally dedicated women voted yes and no to the first Equal Rights Amendment in 1948 and later to the Women's Status Bill. Cobble believes that labor feminism learned from second-wave feminism and that later the new feminism learned from the old. She outlines steps that must be taken for labor feminism to be revitalized. This solid argument for the value of "the other women's movement" is recommended for academic libraries and special labor and women's studies collections.-Janice Dunham, John Jay Coll. Lib., CUNY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Cobble (Rutgers Univ.) has produced a rich contribution to the history of American women and American labor from the 1930s to the 1980s. Well written and thoroughly researched, her book highlights the conditions of labor for American working women during this period and thoughtfully documents efforts to improve those conditions by organizations and individual activists. These efforts were varied--from governmental reform to trade unionism--and the results were frequently mixed if not frustrating at times. Cobble sets aside the notion of the "dormant decades" that the women's movement supposedly went through after achieving suffrage in 1920 until the explosion of the women's liberation movement in the late 1960s. The "labor feminism" of the 1930s and WW II, the Civil Rights Movement, and the women's liberation movement all shaped the ways in which working women perceived their options in improving their rights as workers, whether it was through trade unionism or legislation. The decades-long debate over the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment is just one example of where the intersection of gender, class, and race could and did inspire yet limit the possibilities for "workplace justice." ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All levels and collections. K. B. Nutter University of Maryland University College

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Dorothy Sue Cobble is Professor of Labor Studies, History, and Women's and Gender Studies at Rutgers University where she directs the Institute for Research on Women. She is the author of Dishing It Out: Waitresses and Their Unions in the Twentieth Century and Women and Unions: Forging a Partnership .

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