According to popular conception, working-class women in the United States are part of the "silent majority." But during the 1970s and early 1980s these women have been far from silent. Speaking out both individually and collectively, they have staked new political ground for themselves and their families. Drawing on case studies of community and workplace organizing, these original essays redefine our notions of "the political" and address a wide range of topics, including the creation and reform of unions, domestic service, street vending, working-class education, health care, and social services.
The contributors have focused on working-class women from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds employed in a wide variety of jobs. Women and the Politics of Empowerment documents the story of women learning about the sources of their powerlessness and mobilizing to increase their power.
"Women and the Politics of Empowerment is filled with pictures of women whose lives the masculinist ideology of our disciplines has said are not worthy of our interest. Bookman, Morgen, and their colleagues awaken all kinds of ideas about where to go from here." —Women & Politics
"Drawing together an excellent compilation of case studies of community and workplace organizing, Bookman and Morgen redefine the political arena and process. They focus on the statuses of working-class and low-income women from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, thereby giving attention to women who have been largely ignored as actors in the political arena…. These rich and varied case materials are useful for the scholar-researcher, the activist, and for the teacher in women's studies, social work, public policy, education, and public health." —Contemporary Sociology
"Don't let the title…scare you…. The book is devoted to bridging the gap between theory and practice, between feminism and working-class women. And it succeeds, through fourteen widely disparate, yet complementary essays about working-class women, Black, Latina and white, struggling on the job and in their communities for social change." —New Directions for Women