The “New Economy” and the Transformation of Women's Work

Susan Thistle

in From Marriage to the Market

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2006 | ISBN: 9780520245907
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520939196 | DOI:
The “New Economy” and the Transformation of Women's Work

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This chapter examines the social and economic order that has been built out of the pieces of women's old ways of life and work. It shows the roles played by the commercialization of women's domestic chores and labor in the rise of the new economy of the twenty-first century. It notes that women's massive entrance into paid employment, while bringing women themselves new earnings, also resulted in new profits for their employers and great gains for the economy overall. It documents the historic change in the source of women's livelihood, comparing the reliance of African American and white women on income from men or on their own wages in 1960 and today. It then examines the outcomes of such a shift for women of different backgrounds, asking to what extent those at different levels of education of either race are succeeding in “having it all”.

Keywords: women; domestic chores; new economy; commercialization; earnings; African American; white women; income; levels of education; race

Chapter.  11738 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Marriage and the Family

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