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Everyday Revolutionaries: Working Women and the Transformation of American Life
     

Everyday Revolutionaries: Working Women and the Transformation of American Life

by Sally Helgesen
 
In 1957 William Whyte published his classic study of the lives and mores of men in a white-collar suburb, The Organization Man. Since then the entry of women into the work force in massive numbers has radically changed the workplace and the ethos of middle-class America. Sally Helgesen returns to the Chicago suburbs of Whyte's book and explores in details the

Overview

In 1957 William Whyte published his classic study of the lives and mores of men in a white-collar suburb, The Organization Man. Since then the entry of women into the work force in massive numbers has radically changed the workplace and the ethos of middle-class America. Sally Helgesen returns to the Chicago suburbs of Whyte's book and explores in details the lives of professional women in post-feminist America and shows how radically they have changed the workplace, their neighborhoods, and society as a whole.

Working women do not live the kind of cookie cutter lives chronicled in The Organization Man. Balancing work, children, community and spiritual lives, they have become (by necessity) adaptive and creative. Indeed, they've put a great premium on choice, which explains why career switching, entrepreneurship, alternative spirituality non-traditional families, decentralized bureaucracies and many other facets of modern American life are a direct result of the entree of women into the workforce.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
William Whyte's 1956 classic, The Organization Man, identified white, middle-class suburban men as the individuals whose values, lifestyles and aspirations were the most indicative of the age. Helgesen (The Female Advantage) proposes that working women now occupy this position. She maintains that, as the industrial economy evolved into an information economy, womenlargely because of feminism and their postwar entry into the workforcebegan actively to redefine their identities and lifestyles. While one of Whyte's organization men was just like another, Helgesen notes that women are creating many models of how to juggle the responsibilities of work, family, motherhood and selfhood. Drawing on hundreds of interviews with young and middle-aged women in the Chicago suburb of Naperville, Ill., Helgesen concludes: "It is [women's] improvisations, both individual and collective, that are altering the way people now live,... giving direction to a common future." Perhaps the most interesting part of the book is the persuasive case Helgesen makes that there is a symbiosis between evolving notions of femininity and of Americanness. It's just one of many rewarding speculations in this cogent and insightful work of reporting and social history. (Feb.)
Library Journal
A former journalist who has written works like The Female Advantage (Doubleday, 1990), Helgesen revisited the Chicago suburb profiled in William Whyte's classic The Organization Man and discovered that, more than anything else, women's entry into the work force has changed the face of America. The author's frequent speaking engagements will put this book in the public's eye.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385480253
Publisher:
The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/29/1997
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.47(w) x 9.59(h) x 1.17(d)

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