The article discusses sociologist Michelle Budig‘s research showing that bias affecting fathers and mothers varies by income level: Men with high incomes see the largest pay increase for having children; mothers with low incomes experience the lowest relative earnings. The article also discusses sociologist Shelly J. Correll‘s finding that “employers rate fathers as the most desirable employees, followed by childless women, childless men and finally mothers.” In Correll’s words, “A lot of these effects really are very much due to a cultural bias against mothers.”
by Chenoa Flippen
Immigration from Latin America to the United States has surged in recent decades, and along with it the entry of immigrant women into the U.S. labor market. Understanding how immigrant Latinas are faring in the U.S. economy requires more than just adding women to models that were designed to explain the experiences of immigrant men. Instead, this understanding requires us to move beyond treating gender, legal status, and family structure as mere variables to be controlled for and to think more deeply about how the various constraints on women’s work interact with one another.
Drawing on original data on immigrant women residing in Durham, NC, one of the “new” destinations that has sprung up around the country in recent decades, I explore the determinants of whether or not immigrant Latinas work, and if so, how well they are able to maintain steady, full time employment. Results show that immigrant Latinas are highly concentrated in a handful of immigrant-dominated occupations, and there is little evidence that women with greater education or work experience are able to get better jobs.
It’s an old debate, actually –think back to the 1950s, when a burgeoning literature emerged on the employment effect of automation. Or, think about fictitious portrayals such as Kurt Vonnegut’s Player Piano, which provided a dystopian image of a corporate-dominated society in which paid employment was virtually obsolete. More recently, we’ve seen books by such well-known scholars as Stanley Aronowitz, Jeremy Rifkin, Andre Gorz, and Ulrich Beck, among others, all adopting the Cassandra-like cry: Bid Farewell to Work!
These are tough times to be an unemployed job seeker. During in-depth interviews job seekers frequently tell me that applying for jobs “feels like you’re applying to a black hole.” Understandably so: Job seekers may submit hundreds of applications electronically without receiving a single acknowledgement. They often suspect that nobody even looks at their resumes.
In these dark times, job seekers who turn to support organizations or advice books often learn of a new “solution,” a technology that (in the words of one employment counselor) “has revolutionized job searching.” The technology is social media, and specifically social networking sites (SNS), such as LinkedIn. Support organizations across the U.S., including state-run “One Stop” centers, are now offering trainings to job seekers on how to use SNS platforms like LinkedIn. The mantra I hear at these trainings is that “if you are not on LinkedIn you are invisible.” The message resonates with job seekers.