A Living Wage: American Workers and the Making of Consumer Society / Edition 1

A Living Wage: American Workers and the Making of Consumer Society / Edition 1

by Lawrence B. Glickman
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0801486149

ISBN-13: 9780801486142

Pub. Date: 03/28/1999

Publisher: Cornell University Press

The fight for a "living wage" has a long and revealing history as documented here by Lawrence B. Glickman. The labor movement's response to wages shows how American workers negotiated the transition from artisan to consumer, opening up new political possibilities for organized workers and creating contradictions that continue to haunt the labor movement

Overview

The fight for a "living wage" has a long and revealing history as documented here by Lawrence B. Glickman. The labor movement's response to wages shows how American workers negotiated the transition from artisan to consumer, opening up new political possibilities for organized workers and creating contradictions that continue to haunt the labor movement today.

Nineteenth-century workers hoped to become self-employed artisans, rather than permanent "wage slaves." After the Civil War, however, unions redefined working-class identity in consumerist terms, and demanded a wage that would reward workers commensurate with their needs as consumers. This consumerist turn in labor ideology also led workers to struggle for shorter hours and union labels.

First articulated in the 1870s, the demand for a living wage was voiced increasingly by labor leaders and reformers at the turn of the century. Glickman explores the racial, ethnic, and gender implications, as white male workers defined themselves in contrast to African Americans, women, Asians, and recent European immigrants. He shows how a historical perspective on the concept of a living wage can inform our understanding of current controversies.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801486142
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
Publication date:
03/28/1999
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Rethinking Wage Labor

Part I. From Wage Slavery to the Living Wage

Chapter 1. That Curse of Modern Civilization

Chapter 2. Idle Men and Fallen Women

Part II. The Social Economy

Chapter 3. Defining the Living Wage

Chapter 4. Inventing the American Standard of Living

Part III. Workers of the World, Consume

Chapter 5. Merchants of Time

Chapter 6. Producers as Consumers

Part IV The Living Wage in the Twentieth Century

Chapter 7. Subsistence or Consumption?

Chapter 8. The Living Wage Incorporated

Coda: Interpreting the Living Wage and Consumption

Notes
Index

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