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WOmen & Minority Groups in the Labour Force

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Discuss the role of women and minority races in the labor force. Evaluate the gains and losses in power and prestige of each.

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Note to Student: This is a broad overview. Your question does not give a timeframe or a group of minorities. I have, however, included a number of references to help you out!
Thanks and Good luck! Kelvin

Historically in America, the role of women and minorities in the labor force has been tenuous, with some basic similarities but very real differences. Both groups have suffered a minority status in terms of pay, benefits, and respect in the workplace. And, until the end of the 1960s there was a certain element of a "glass ceiling" in place that prevented women and minorities from rising to the top of their profession. Of course, there were always exceptions to this rule in literature, art, and even the sciences (e.g. Marie Curie, Frederick Douglas, etc.). However, one can make some broad statements about the history of both groups from the 1800s to the present.

Women - After the Civil War, in 1865, the word "male" was placed into the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. This was the first time women had been specifically banned from voting, and yet this was indicative of their history in America. While it is well-known that there were strong women who were able to influence politics (Abigale Adams, for instance), the role of women in history depended upon the social and economic class of her life. Upper middle and wealthier women were educated just a bit, to read, to be able to entertain, and to be able to support their husbands and run the household. Of course, their primary job as young ladies was to find a perfect husband. Poorer or rural women were expected not only to bear and raise children, but to work hard to maintain the farm or ranch. In the major urban areas during the1800s and early 1900s, women could find employment in "Sweat shop" environments - sewing or working other ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses the role of women and Minority ethnic groups in the labour market. By evaluating their gains and loses in power, influence and prestige in American history, a comprehensive picture is presented which would be very valuable to civil rights, politics and history students.