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In pursuit of equity : women, men, and the quest for economic citizenship in 20th century America

Author: Alice Kessler-Harris
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2001.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"In In Pursuit of Equity, Kessler-Harris pierces the skin of arguments and legislation to grasp the preconceptions that have shaped the experience of women: a "gendered imagination" that has defined what men and women alike think of as fair and desirable. In this brilliant account that traces social policy from the New Deal to the 1970s, she shows how a deeply embedded set of beliefs has distorted seemingly neutral  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Alice Kessler-Harris
ISBN: 0195038355 9780195038354
OCLC Number: 46991250
Awards: Bancroft Prize, 2002
Description: xi, 374 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Contents: The Responsibilities of Life --
The Mere Fact of Sex --
A Practical Independence --
A Man-Run Company --
Marriage: A Defining Condition --
Maintaining Self-Respect --
Self-Help Is the Best Help --
Have We Lost Courage? --
A Sieve with Holes --
A Foundling Dumped upon the Doorstep --
Questions of Equity --
Matters of Right --
The Hardest Problem of the Whole Thing --
They Feel That They Have Lost Citizenship --
It Would Be a Great Comfort to Him --
A Principle of Law but Not of Justice --
Apportioning the Income Tax --
More Than Money Is Involved --
To Confer a Special Benefit on the Marital Relationship --
What Discriminates? --
How're You Going to Feel? --
The President's Commission on the Status of Women --
Calling into Question the Entire Doctrine of Sex --
Equal Pay for Equal Work --
What's Fair? --
Constructing an Equal Opportunity Framework --
Standing with Lot's Wife --
Divided Women --
At First Glance, the Idea May Seem Silly --
History Is Moving in This Direction.
Responsibility: Alice Kessler-Harris.
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Abstract:

This volume pierces the skin of arguments and legislation to grasp the preconceptions that have shaped the experience of women: a "gendered imagination" that has defined what men and women alike  Read more...

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Important new book ... breath-taking clarity ... In Pursuit of Equity is a strikingly original, beautifully crafted, and ultimately sobering book. The Journal of American History

 
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   schema:reviewBody ""In In Pursuit of Equity, Kessler-Harris pierces the skin of arguments and legislation to grasp the preconceptions that have shaped the experience of women: a "gendered imagination" that has defined what men and women alike think of as fair and desirable. In this brilliant account that traces social policy from the New Deal to the 1970s, she shows how a deeply embedded set of beliefs has distorted seemingly neutral social legislation to further limit the freedom and equality of women. Government rules generally sought to protect women from exploitation, even from employment itself; but at the same time, they attached the most important benefits to wage work. To be a real citizen, one must earn - and most policymakers (even female ones) assumed from the beginning that women were not, and should not be, breadwinners. Kessler-Harris traces the impact of this gender bias in the New Deal programs of Social Security, unemployment insurance, and fair labor standards, in Federal income tax policy, and the new discussion of women's rights that emerged after World War II. "For generations," she writes, " American women lacked not merely the practice, but frequently the idea of individual economic freedom." Only in the 1960s and '70s did old assumptions begin to break down - yet the process is far from complete." "Even today, with women closer to full economic citizenship than ever before, Kessler-Harris's insights offer a keen new understanding of the issues that dominate the headlines, from the marriage penalty in the tax code to the glass ceiling in corporate America."--Jacket." ;
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