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- DescriptionAn impressive book...Vogel makes a wide range of perspectives on the equality/difference debate easily accessible to nspecialists. --Ruth Milkman, UCLA, author of Gender at Work: The Dynamics of Job Segregation by Sex during World War II What kinds of benefits do working mothers need? How can the ideals of equality be reconciled with the gender specificity of motherhood? Lise Vogel examines the way these questions have long constituted a dilemma both for U.S. public policy and for feminist thought. Vogel begins by assessing the background to the contemporary debates. Early twentieth-century progressives underscored women's need for special protection and sought female-specific benefits. Though few were provided and even they were extended only to white women, a maternity policy was netheless put in place. In the 1960s, a new kind of maternity policy, framed on equality, began to be constructed. Vogel traces the history of the shift, showing how feminists abandoned difference, and moved to demands for equal treatment. Although initiated by feminists, equal treatment could paradoxically be a pretext for a mean-spirited denial of needed benefits. Employers could claim that pregnancy leave was preferential treatment and conflicted with the principle of equality. In the 1980s, litigation over pregnancy leave triggered a debate between advocates of gender-neutral strategies and those who called for female-specific policies. In analyzing these debates, Vogel refused to choose between equality and difference. Rather, she shows that the dichotomy must be resisted in practical politics as well as at the level of theory, and she supports new policies such as family leave and comparable worth. In the furor over family values, single motherhood, diversity, and reverse discrimination, Vogel speaks with a clear and intelligent voice. She makes a powerful argument for a conception of equality that encompasses the special character of maternity. Lise Vogel teaches sociology and women's studies at Rider College and is the author of Marxism and the Oppression of Women (Rutgers University Press).
- Author BiographyLise Vogel is a professor of sociology at Rider College and the author of Marxism and the Oppression of Women (Rutgers University Press).
- Author(s)Lise Vogel
- PublisherRutgers University Press
- Date of Publication30/03/1993
- SubjectSocial Studies: General
- Place of PublicationNew Brunswick, NJ
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintRutgers University Press
- Content Noteblack & white illustrations
- Weight296 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine11 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US)
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