By Vivien Hart
What distinction does a written structure make to public coverage? How have ladies employees fared in a state sure by means of constitutional ideas, in comparison with these no longer coated through formal, written promises of reasonable technique or equitable end result? to enquire those questions, Vivien Hart strains the evolution of minimal salary regulations within the usa and Britain from their universal origins in women's politics round 1900 to their divergent results in our day. She argues, opposite to universal knowledge, that the virtue has been with the yank constitutional approach instead of the British. Basing her research on fundamental study, Hart reconstructs felony techniques and coverage judgements that revolved round the reputation of ladies as staff and the general public definition of gender roles. Contrasting seismic shifts and growth in American minimal salary coverage with indifference and eventual abolition in Britain, she demanding situations preconceptions in regards to the constraints of yank constitutionalism as opposed to British flexibility. although constitutional standards did block and frustrate women's makes an attempt to realize reasonable wages, additionally they, as Hart demonstrates, created a terrain within the usa for principled debate approximately girls, paintings, and the state--and a momentum for public policy--unparalleled in Britain. Hart's booklet will be of curiosity to coverage, hard work, women's, and felony historians, to political scientists, and to scholars of gender matters, legislations, and social coverage.
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Additional info for Bound by Our Constitution: Women, Workers, and the Minimum Wage
Many women workers were in fact supporting families, whether as single parents or as partners of unemployed or disabled men. Yet most model budgets were constructed in terms of family income. 20 Average wage statistics meant little without comparison with industrial wages and hours. 21 As for hours, the NASL handbill reported accurately that a “‘sweated’ woman . . will work as many hours as she can endure,” and some women in one study simply recorded “all day” as their average working day. ” “Mrs.
But they were not just uncomprehending middle-class women. If their maternalism led them to advocate special legislation for mothers—Tuckwell was a strong supporter of free medical care for mothers and children, and of widows’ pensions— their class analysis led them to conclude that the dirt and chaos of the lives of sweated workers were the product of hardship, not of inadequate character. ”92 Tuckwell’s principle was to take care of the wages, and the rest would take care of itself. Asked by the chairman of the Select Committee on Homework about sanitation and “domestic cleanliness,” she replied: “I am afraid I do not attach very much importance to that.
7 Consumers campaigned for production in licensed premises and for labels on goods made in approved conditions. Workers organized, deﬁning the problem as entrapment and poverty, the solution as truck acts and union rates. ”8 By the 1890s, sweating was widespread. Manufacturers capitalized on an oversupply of unskilled labor to meet the demands of a mass market for readymade products. Production was disaggregated into multiple simple operations and piecework, and more tasks were farmed out in more industries to more people, often women, sometimes immigrants, working in small shops and their own homes.
Bound by Our Constitution: Women, Workers, and the Minimum Wage by Vivien Hart