United Apart: Gender and the Rise of Craft Unionism

By Ileen DeVault

2016.07.25 book united.apartAt the turn of the twentieth century, American factory workers were often segregated by sex—males did heavier, dirtier, and better paid, work while women might be employed in a separate area performing related, lighter work. Men might cut bolts of fabric, for example, while women stitched cuffs onto sleeves. How this division of labor played out when an occupational group comprised of one sex went on strike is the subject of this book. Interestingly, workers in certain industries realized that their jobs were so intertwined with those being done by the other sex that any job action would fail without the support of co-workers of the opposite sex. DeVault explores the connections between worker solidarity and individual considerations of skill, gender, race/ethnicity.

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