Illegal. Unamerican. Disposable. In a nation with an unprecedented history of immigration, the prevailing image of those who cross our borders in search of equal opportunity is that of a drain. Grace Chang's vital account of immigrant women—who work as nannies, domestic workers, janitors, nursing aides, and homecare workers—proves just the opposite: the women who perform our least desirable jobs are the most crucial to our economy and society. Disposable Domestics highlights the unrewarded work immigrant women perform as caregivers, cleaners, and servers and shows how these women are actively resisting the exploitation they face.
With a subtle yet penetrating understanding of the intricate interplay of gender, race, and class, Sheba George examines an unusual immigration pattern to analyze what happens when women who migrate before men become the breadwinners in the family. Focusing on a group of female nurses who moved from India to the United States before their husbands, she shows that this story of economic mobility and professional achievement conceals underlying conditions of upheaval not only in the families and immigrant community but also in the sending community in India. This richly textured and impeccably researched study deftly illustrates the complex reconfigurations of gender and class relations concealed behind a quintessential American success story. When Women Come First explains how men who lost social status in the immigration process attempted to reclaim ground by creating new roles for themselves in their church. Ironically, they were stigmatized by other upper class immigrants as men who needed to "play in the church" because the "nurses were the bosses" in their homes. At the same time, the nurses were stigmatized as lower class, sexually loose women with too much independence. George's absorbing story of how these women and men negotiate this complicated network provides a groundbreaking perspective on the shifting interactions of two nations and two cultures.
Immigrant Women Workers Take on the Global Factory
Author: Miriam Ching Yoon Louie
Publisher: South End Press
Category: Business & Economics
In this up-close and personal look at the heroines who make family, community, and society tick, Miriam Ching Yoon Louie showcases immigrant women workers speaking out for themselves, in their own words. While public outrage over sweatshops builds in intensity, this book shows us who these workers really are and how they are leading campaigns to fight for their rights. In-depth, accessible analyses of the immigration, labor, and trade policies, which together have forced these women into the most dangerous, poorly paid jobs, dovetail with vivid portraits of the women themselves. Louie, a longtime writer/activist and well-known figure in feminist, immigrant, and labor circles, is uniquely poised to make her case: that the labor of immigrant women worker-activists not only sustains families and communities, but the vibrant social activism that undergirds democracy itself. With chapters on successful campaigns against Levi-Strauss, Donna Karan, and restaurants in Los Angeles; Koreatown, among others. Miriam Ching Yoon Louie is a longtime writer/activist in campaigns to organize women of color. She is national campaign media director of Fuerza Unida, a board member of the Women of Color Resource Center, and former media director of Asian Immigrant Women Advocates. Her essays and articles on immigrant women and labor issues have been widely anthologized, including in the 1997 collection Dragon Ladies: Asian American Feminists Breathe Fire (South End Press) and she speaks at public events internationally. She is the co-author, with Linda Burnham, of Women's Education in the Global Economy (Women of Color Resource Center, 2000).
What makes a social movement a movement? Where do the contagious energy, vision, and sense of infinite possibility come from? Students of progressive social movements know a good deal about what works and what doesn't and about the constituencies that are conducive to political activism, but what are the personal and emotional dynamics that turn ordinary people into activists? And, what are the visions and practices of democracy that foster such transformations? This book seeks to answer these questions through conversations and interviews with a generation of activists who came of political age in Los Angeles during the 1990s. Politically schooled in the city's vibrant immigrant worker and youth-led campaigns against xenophobic and racist voter initiatives, these young activists created a new political cohort with its own signature of democratic practice and vision. Combining analytical depth, engaging oral history, and rich description, this absorbing and accessible book will appeal to all those interested in social movements, racial justice, the political activism of women and men of color, and the labor movement today.
When we see children playing in a supervised playground or hear about a school being renovated, we seldom wonder about who mobilized the community resources to rebuild the school or staff the park. Mexican American Women Activists tells the stories of Mexican American women from two Los Angeles neighborhoods and how they transformed the everyday problems they confronted into political concerns. By placing these women's experiences at the center of her discussion of grassroots political activism, Mary Pardo illuminates the gender, race, and class character of community networking. She shows how citizens help to shape their local environment by creating resources for churches, schools, and community services and generates new questions and answers about collective action and the transformation of social networks into political networks. By focusing on women in two contiguous but very different communities -- the working-class, inner-city neighborhood of Boyle Heights in Eastside Los Angeles and the racially mixed middle-class suburb of Monterey Park -- Pardo is able to bring class as ell as gender and ethnic concerns to bear on her analysis in ways that shed light on the complexity of mobilizing for urban change. Unlike many studies, the stories told here focus on women's strengths rather than on their problems. We follow the process by which these women empowered themselves by using their own definitions of social justice and their own convictions about the importance of traditional roles. Rather than becoming political participants in spite of their family responsibilities, women in both neighborhoods seem to have been more powerful because they had responsibilities, social networks, and daily routines separate from the men in their communities. Pardo asserts that the decline of real wages and the growing income gap means that unforunately most women will no longer be able to focus their energies on unpaid community work. She reflects on the consequences of this change for women's political involvement, as well as on the politics of writing about women and politics.
Multiethnic Japan challenges the received view of Japanese society as ethnically homogeneous. Employing a wide array of arguments and evidence--historical and comparative, interviews and observations, high literature and popular culture--John Lie recasts modern Japan as a thoroughly multiethnic society. Lie casts light on a wide range of minority groups in modern Japanese society, including the Ainu, Burakumin (descendants of premodern outcasts), Chinese, Koreans, and Okinawans. In so doing, he depicts the trajectory of modern Japanese identity. Surprisingly, Lie argues that the belief in a monoethnic Japan is a post-World War II phenomenon, and he explores the formation of the monoethnic ideology. He also makes a general argument about the nature of national identity, delving into the mechanisms of social classification, signification, and identification.
Labor, Business, and the Politics of Health Care in the United States
Author: Marie Gottschalk
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Category: Political Science
Why, in the recent campaigns for universal health care, did organized labor maintain its support of employer-mandated insurance? Did labor's weakened condition prevent it from endorsing national health insurance? Marie Gottschalk demonstrates here that the unions' surprising stance was a consequence of the peculiarly private nature of social policy in the United States. Her book combines a much-needed account of labor's important role in determining health care policy with a bold and incisive analysis of the American welfare state. Gottschalk stresses that, in the United States, the social welfare system is anchored in the private sector but backed by government policy. As a result, the private sector is a key political battlefield where business, labor, the state, and employees hotly contest matters such as health care. She maintains that the shadow welfare state of job-based benefits shaped the manner in which labor defined its policy interests and strategies. As evidence, Gottschalk examines the influence of the Taft-Hartley health and welfare funds, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (E.R.I.S.A.), and experience-rated health insurance, showing how they constrained labor from supporting universal health care. Labor, Gottschalk asserts, missed an important opportunity to develop a broader progressive agenda. She challenges the movement to establish a position on health care that addresses the growing ranks of Americans without insurance, the restructuring of the U.S. economy, and the political travails of the unions themselves.
In Remaking Chinese America, Xiaojian Zhao explores the myriad forces that changed and unified Chinese Americans during a key period in American history. Prior to 1940, this immigrant community was predominantly male, but between 1940 and 1965 it was transformed into a family-centered American ethnic community. Zhao pays special attention to forces both inside and outside of the country in order to explain these changing demographics. She scrutinizes the repealed exclusion laws and the immigration laws enacted after 1940. Careful attention is also paid to evolving gender roles, since women constituted the majority of newcomers, significantly changing the sex ratio of the Chinese American population. As members of a minority sharing a common cultural heritage as well as pressures from the larger society, Chinese Americans networked and struggled to gain equal rights during the cold war period. In defining the political circumstances that brought the Chinese together as a cohesive political body, Zhao also delves into the complexities they faced when questioning their personal national allegiances. Remaking Chinese America uses a wealth of primary sources, including oral histories, newspapers, genealogical documents, and immigration files to illuminate what it was like to be Chinese living in the United States during a period that--until now--has been little studied.
Migrant Domestics and Newly Rich Employers in Taiwan
Author: Pei-Chia Lan
Publisher: Duke University Press
Category: Business & Economics
Migrant women are the primary source of paid domestic labor around the world. Since the 1980s, the newly prosperous countries of East Asia have recruited foreign household workers at a rapidly increasing rate. Many come from the Philippines and Indonesia. Pei-Chia Lan interviewed and spent time with dozens of Filipina and Indonesian domestics working in and around Taipei as well as many of their Taiwanese employers. On the basis of the vivid ethnographic detail she collected, Lan provides a nuanced look at how boundaries between worker and employer are maintained and negotiated in private households. She also sheds light on the fate of the workers, “global Cinderellas” who seek an escape from poverty at home only to find themselves treated as disposable labor abroad. Lan demonstrates how economic disparities, immigration policies, race, ethnicity, and gender intersect in the relationship between the migrant workers and their Taiwanese employers. The employers are eager to flex their recently acquired financial muscle; many are first-generation career women as well as first-generation employers. The domestics are recruited from abroad as contract and “guest” workers; restrictive immigration policies prohibit them from seeking permanent residence or transferring from one employer to another. They care for Taiwanese families’ children, often having left their own behind. Throughout Global Cinderellas, Lan pays particular attention to how the women she studied identify themselves in relation to “others”—whether they be of different classes, nationalities, ethnicities, or education levels. In so doing, she offers a framework for thinking about how migrant workers and their employers understand themselves in the midst of dynamic transnational labor flows.
From grassroots to global activism, the untold story of the world's first domestic workers' movement. Domestic workers exist on the margins of the world labor market. Maids, nannies, housekeepers, au pairs, and other care workers are most often ‘off the books,’ working for long hours and low pay. They are not afforded legal protections or benefits such as union membership, health care, vacation days, and retirement plans. Many women who perform these jobs are migrants, and are oftentimes dependent upon their employers for room and board as well as their immigration status, creating an extremely vulnerable category of workers in the growing informal global economy. Drawing on over a decade’s worth of research, plus interviews with a number of key movement leaders and domestic workers, Jennifer N. Fish presents the compelling stories of the pioneering women who, while struggling to fight for rights in their own countries, mobilized transnationally to enact change. The book takes us to Geneva, where domestic workers organized, negotiated, and successfully received the first-ever granting of international standards for care work protections by the United Nations’ International Labour Organization. This landmark victory not only legitimizes the importance of these household laborers’ demands for respect and recognition, but also signals the need to consider human rights as a central component of workers’ rights. Domestic Workers of the World Unite! chronicles how a group with so few resources could organize and act within the world’s most powerful international structures and give voice to the wider global plight of migrants, women, and informal workers. For anyone with a stake in international human and workers’ rights, this is a critical and inspiring model of civil society organizing.
Making Waves unearths the successive, worldwide waves of revolts, rebellions, and revolutions that have shaken and remade the world from the eighteenth century to the present. It challenges us to rethink not only our limited conceptions of social movements but the very character and possibilities of social movements. The authors show how successive outbursts of global social protest have undermined world capitalist orders and, through both their successes and their failures, provided the basis for long periods of stable capitalist rule across all the zones of the world-economy. The surprises start in the Age of Revolution, when the antisystemic wave of slave revolts that led to the Haitian Revolution is related to the systemic effects of their combination with the U.S. and French Revolutions. The analysis comes up to the present, when a wave of post-1989 movements points to quite divergent futures based, as in the past, on the search for alternatives to communities organized by capital accumulation, nation-states, and the accelerating commodification and fragmentation of human needs, identities, and desires.
Preparing for the Elder Boom in a Changing America
Author: Ai-jen Poo
Publisher: New Press, The
Category: Social Science
In The Age of Dignity, thought leader and activist Ai-jen Poo offers a wake-up call about the demographic reality that will affect us all. “We have more senior citizens in America today than we’ve had at any time in our history,” Poo writes, pointing out that more than 14 percent of our population is now over sixty-five; by 2030 that ratio will be one in five. In fact, our fastest-growing demographic is the eighty -five-plus age group—over 5 million people now, a number that is expected to more than double in the next twenty years. This change presents us with a new challenge: how we care for and support quality of life for the unprecedented numbers of older Americans who will need it. Despite these daunting numbers, Poo has written a profoundly hopeful book, giving us a glimpse into the stories and often hidden experiences of the people—family caregivers, older people, and home care workers—whose lives will be directly shaped and reshaped in this moment of demographic change. The Age of Dignity outlines a road map for how we can become a more caring nation, providing solutions for fixing our fraying safety net while also increasing opportunities for women, immigrants, and the unemployed in our workforce. As Poo has said, “Care is the strategy and the solution toward a better future for all of us.”
The greatest political debate of our time is about the blind rush towards a single global economy, its consequences for jobs, democracy, human well-being and cultural diversity, and its impact on the natural world that sustains us. Its effects will be profound and irreversible, but globalization itself is not inevitable. In The Case Against the Global Economy, 24 leading economic, agricultural, cultural and environmental authorities, drawn from across the world, argue that free trade and economic globalization are producing exactly the opposite results to those promised. From a detailed analysis of the new global economy, its structures and its full social and ecological implications, they show how it is undermining our liberty, our security and our well-being, and is devastating the planet. First published in the USA in 1996, in an edition focused on North America, the book won the American Political Science Association award for the Best Book in Ecological and Transformational Politics. This completely revised and updated international edition presents a passionate and persuasive case for the need to reverse course, away from globalization and towards a revitalized democracy, local self-sufficiency and ecological health.
To date, most research on immigrant women and labor forces has focused on the participation of immigrant women on formal labor markets. In this study, contributors focus on informal economies such as health care, domestic work, street vending, and the garment industry, where displaced and undocumented women are more likely to work. Because such informal labor markets are unregulated, many of these workers face abusive working conditions that are not reported for fear of job loss or deportation. In examining the complex dynamics of how immigrant women navigate political and economic uncertainties, this collection highlights the important role of citizenship status in defining immigrant women's opportunities, wages, and labor conditions. Contributors are Pallavi Banerjee, Grace Chang, Margaret M. Chin, Jennifer Jihye Chun, Héctor R. Cordero-Guzmán, Emir Estrada, Lucy Fisher, Nilda Flores-González, Ruth Gomberg-Munoz, Anna Romina Guevarra, Shobha Hamal Gurung, Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo, María de la Luz Ibarra, Miliann Kang, George Lipsitz, Lolita Andrada Lledo, Lorena Muñoz, Bandana Purkayastha, Mary Romero, Young Shin, Michelle Téllez, and Maura Toro-Morn.
Just Work? offers a vast range of original, grass-roots perspectives on global migrant labour organising in the twenty-first century. From diverse workers' organisations in South Africa to migrant worker resistance in the Gulf, from forest workers in the Czech Republic to domestic workers' structures in Hong Kong, this volume will bring together a wealth of lived experiences and hidden struggles for the first time.Highlighting the changing nature of frontline struggles against exploitation, Just Work? proves that migrant workers are finding new and innovative ways of resisting neoliberal immigration measures. They are forced to fight against the precarious nature of jobs from both within and outside of traditional forms of labour organisations. With contributions from scholars and activists from around the world engaged in this resistance, this will be an accessible collection based on grass-roots experiences, placed in a political economy framework.The full list of regions explored are: South Africa, Philippines, Gulf Arab States, Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Japan, London, Nigeria, New Zealand, Canada and Switzerland.
Everyday, around the world, women who work in the Third World factories of global firms face the idea that they are disposable. Melissa W. Wright explains how this notion proliferates, both within and beyond factory walls, through the telling of a simple story: the myth of the disposable Third World woman. This myth explains how young women workers around the world eventually turn into living forms of waste. Disposable Women and Other Myths of Global Capitalism follows this myth inside the global factories and surrounding cities in northern Mexico and in southern China, illustrating the crucial role the tale plays in maintaining not just the constant flow of global capital, but the present regime of transnational capitalism. The author also investigates how women challenge the story and its meaning for workers in global firms. These innovative responses illustrate how a politics for confronting global capitalism must include the many creative ways that working people resist its dehumanizing effects.
Plant diseases and changes in existing pathogens remain a constant threat to our forests, food, and fiber crops as well as landscape plants. However, many economically important pathosystems are largely unexplored and biologically relevant life stages of familiar systems remain poorly understood. In a multifaceted approach to plant pathogenic behavioral control, Sustainable Approaches to Controlling Plant Pathogenic Bacteria discusses the impact of plant pathogenic bacterial pathogenesis on scientific and economic levels. It introduces mechanisms, measuring tools, and controlling strategies you can use to meet the challenge of developing new and innovative ways to control plant diseases. The book covers many aspects of the activities of pathogenic bacteria that interact with plants. With chapters contributed by experts, the book focuses on: Pathogenesis Epidemiology Forecasting systems Control measures including diagnosis, quarantine, and eradication Adoption of agro-traditional practices Tools for the control of antibacterial polypeptides Nutrient supplements Metabolic substances from other organisms Mechanisms of siderophores Host resistances Quorum sensing and quenching Seed and foliar applications Impact of plant pathogens on scientific and economic levels The editors’ approach provides a broad perspective, including modern trends in ecology that consider plant pathogenic bacterial control from all angles. The discussions and reviews in the book cover a wide range of aspects of plant pathogenic bacterial pathogenicity, epidemiology, and impact on the food chain as well as strategies for control, which will help you develop sustainable methods for controlling plant diseases.