The Worth of Women's Work
A Qualitative Synthesis
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Many common assumptions about work are challenged in this book. For example, the findings refute the common assertion that work tasks can be categorized into '"instrumental," or task activities, versus "caretaking," or people-oriented activities. It is shown that, regardless of the type of job, tasks are accomplished through the management of relationships. Other findings show that workers devise ingenious methods for maintaining dignity in the face of blatant oppression, a conclusion neglected in traditional studies of work where prestige hierarchies are presumed to affect workers' feelings about themselves.
This book integrates findings from qualitative studies of women's work experiences in 13 occupations. The methods for gathering the data include participant observation, unstructured interviews, analysis of diaries, and review of historical documents. These methodologies permit unanticipated patterns to emerge from the data. Hence, The Worth of Women's Work not only presents new insights into women's work experiences, but simultaneously takes a much-needed step in developing a framework for integrating qualitative research.
Anne Statham is Associate Professor of Sociology and Chair of the Behavioral Science Division at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Eleanor Miller is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Hans O. Mauksch is Professor Emeritus of the University of Missouri-Columbia and Visiting Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
"I appreciate the fact that the volume does not focus on women's professions but instead focuses on women's occupations, which have tended to be neglected. The inclusion of the chapter on hustling shows that the editors have an inclusive definition of work." — Catherine W. Berheide, Skidmore College