Getting By on the Minimum: The Lives of Working-Class Women, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Getting By on the Minimum

The Lives of Working-Class Women, 1st Edition

By Jennifer Johnson


278 pages

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Paperback: 9780415928014
pub: 2002-08-09
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First published in 2002. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.


"Johnson provides a compelling and informative portrait of the power of social class in the daily lives of women. Her excellent study tells us why the starting point for understanding work and family relations is social class." -- Frank Furstenberg, author of Managing to Make It: Urban Families and Adolescent Success

"Jennifer Johnson's class analysis of women's working lives brings fresh insights to understanding gendered choices and constraints. Her detailed portraits capture the inequalities between women. These narratives demonstrate why workers' rights need to be protected and expanded and how family-friendly legislation can help working-class families do more than just get by." -- Mary Romero, author of Maid in the USA

"Getting By on the Minimum opens a much-needed window into the lives of the ordinary women doing the ordinary work that keeps our society rolling along, showing how balancing job and family demands is a physical and economic struggle for them. The hidden injuries of class and gender emerge starkly here, but the voices of the women themselves also convey their strengths." -- Myra Marx Ferree, co-author of Controversy and Coalition: The New Feminist Movement Across Four Decades of Change

"Getting By on the Minimum is a worthy 21st century addition to Lillian Rubin's classic, Worlds of Pain. It dramatically captures working-class women's voices and experiences on every page. This book offers the reader a real grasp of contemporary American women's varied and divergent life paths." -- Phyllis Moen, author of Women's Two Roles: A Contemporary Dilemma

"The book follows a style similar to Studs Terkel's Working and Lillian Rubin's World of Pain in that the actual works of the interviewees are used, giving the reader the impression of being directly spoken to. But Johnson's study is especially meaningful because she acknowledges the class distinction among working women and increases readers' awareness of these differences, as well as of all the workplace inequities women face. More in depth and insightful than Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed, the book successfully lays out the complex array of reasons some women work at lower-paying jobs, from their perspective. Well-documented and containing an extensive bibliography, this should be required reading for certain sociology and women's studies courses and is recommended for all academic and large public libraries." -- Library Journal

About the Author

Jennifer Johnson is a Research Scientist in the Department of Sociology at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. She is the Co-Principal Investigator of a two-year research project funded by the National Science Foundation.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Women's Studies
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gender Studies