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What is the main argument of Goldins The Quiet Revolution that Transformed Women‘s Employment, Education and Family and what are the four phases she outlines? Explain the timeline, income and/or substitution effects, and characteristics of each phase. In addition, explain…
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Q. What is the main argument of Goldins The Quiet Revolution that Transformed Women‘s Employment, Education and Family and what are the four phases she outlines? Explain the timeline, income and/or substitution effects, and characteristics of each phase. In addition, explain which phases are evolutionary and which are revolutionary, and why.
A. In Goldin’s assertion about quiet revolutions, as she explains, main criterion of her study is about the revolutionary change in woman’s involvement in market economy during the last quarter of twentieth century. She explains this revolution to be a ‘quit revolution’ which she asserts as a slow and gradual process which didn’t jump by the steps but gradually changed the norms of market economy as well as the social norms and concerns about position of women in economy. As she describes, this change has not been only a part of economical circle instead it has changed the social norms too. However, she mainly focuses on the requirement of elastic labour and availability of various positions that women can easily fulfil. Also, she goes back in history to explore the roots of this revolution in three evolutionary phases which she relates and manifests as the backdraft of revolutionary change.
Although, the overall process seems more like a reform, Goldin asserts the final uplifts and change in women employment, education and family as revolutionary. There are number of reasons she sees behind this revolution but mainly the difference of treatment and returns in labour market. The overall change of patterns she sees in the three evolutionary phases which brought women in a position from where increased participation in labour market came to appear as obvious.
The deepest root for revolution she find in first quarter of twentieth century where woman played important roles in some limited jobs and tasks. Although, those women were poorly educated and had a very low relative income, yet they became a part of labour market generating considerable returns. Also this phase consisted most number of single woman participating in labour market. Social stigma regarding married woman also paid much to limiting the number of married women in labour market. Goldin explains this period to be the first evolutionary phase:
Substantial social stigma regarding the work of wives outside the home existed due in large measure to the nature of the work. Jobs were often dirty, dangerous, repetitive, and long in hours per day and days per week (Goldin).
Such situation diminished in evolutionary phase-2 during 1930-1950, which allowed ease for married woman to participate in labour market. Also, this was a period which had changed social norms and stigma as major events like World War took place to ensure large requirement of labour over all sectors of labour market. Subsequently, second phase also increased the income compared to first phase. However, still relative income for a woman was lower than men. Later, in the pahse-3 the revolutionary changes were firmly set to extend as third phase already had elastic opportunities for women. During the third phase married women entered in labour market in large numbers. Also, the acceptance of woman as a regular labour became quite steady at the workplaces. It diminished the distinction between men and women as labour force. Also there emerged various jobs which were more likely fit to women instead of men.
Those three phases are evolutionary phases because instead of offering the sudden change of market and labour those periods gradually changed the structure and environment. After the third phase was over, it became quite immediate that women participation in educations and employment became obviously to society. The number of woman participating in labour market rose suddenly. As Goldin mentions, this phase is revolutionary as it provided the threshold for large involvement of women in all sectors of labour market.
Work Cited
Goldin, Claudia. “The Quiet Revolution That Transformed Women’s Employment,
Education, and Family”. Richard T. Ely Lecture, 96 (2). Read More
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