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Working AlternativesAmerican and Catholic Experiments in Work and Economy$
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John C. Seitz and Christine Firer Hinze

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780823288359

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823288359.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 17 May 2022

The Homemaker as Worker

The Homemaker as Worker

Second Wave American Feminist Campaigns to Value Housework

(p.121) The Homemaker as Worker
Working Alternatives

Kirsten Swinth

Fordham University Press

Swinth’s essay explores 1970s American feminists’ efforts to revalue household labor as work with economic and social value. It begins by tracing domestic workers’ campaign to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act and secure a minimum wage for household employees. The chapter then turns to liberal and radical feminists’ struggles to recognize housework as labor worthy of wages and fringe-benefits, including most importantly, social security. By altering the valuation of household labor and making social reproduction visible as work, feminists of the era drew on a gender justice framework to put forward successful working alternatives to conventional economics. Swinth bolsters contemporary campaigns to value women’s emotional labor and caregiving by connecting them to the vision pioneered by second wave feminists more than fifty years ago.

Keywords:   caregiving, domestic workers, emotional labor, feminism, feminists, homemaker(s), household labor, housework, second-wave feminism, social reproduction

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