The following paper will focus on topic two which is the role of the working mother. This will focus on the economically poor woman who is holding one or two jobs to support her family. The paper will also delve into the role of the mother in a sociological perspective. This research will not involve any human subjects but rather will be based primarily on researched literature given in a compare and contrast fashion that also supports as well as analyzes the role of the low paid mother.
There have been many sociologists who have written about the concept of poverty in the United States. Though their views often differ as to the causes, and solutions, the underlying commonality between the sociologists who have written about this issue agree that the current state of the American public is poorer than it has been in decades and this specifically applies to the low paid working mother. There have been many writers, columnists, politicians, sociologists and economists who have written about the concept of poverty in the United States.
Though their views often differ as to the causes, and solutions, the underlying commonality between all of those who have written about this issue remains that the current state of the American public is poorer than it has been in decades. The growing problem is affecting the country in many ways. The decrease in overall health of the country, caused by the masses of Americans unable to attain proper health care is only serving to limit the United States in the realms of education, and business success.
Working mothers are often times involved in more than one business venture as even with minimum wage there is little in the way of funding to support the growing number or working mothers. There is a problem with poverty in the United States. The concepts of the “working poor” the “disenfranchised” as well as the general “impoverished” peoples of the United States are growing. The ways in which different writers address, define, and respond to issues such as poverty, can allow for a reader to find their own understanding of the issue – as well as its possible cure.
According to Andersen, the main problem of poverty as it is reflected in the working mother is rooted in the residual effects of the pre-Civil Rights era. The accumulation of wealth over time, through inheritance and long term investment is lost on the groups which have been discriminated against since the dawn of the Untied States. Andersen states that “racial exclusion in lending, housing segregation, and historical patterns of discrimination have created significant differences in the contemporary class standing of blacks and whites”.
(Andersen 184) This racial disparity was not limited to black and poor whites; it also included Hispanics and Asian-Americans. (Andersen 185) The problem that Andersen addresses is further exacerbated by the decline in “real wages over the period from the 1970s to the late 1990s”. (Andersen 185) The fall in the value of the American dollar, coupled with the increased inflation meant that a worker making the median wage in 1989 made $13. 22 an hour; however by 1997 that same level wage was only worth $12. 63. (Andersen 185)
The lower 80% of wage earners suffered more with a loss of 6. 7% of their total wage power. As mothers make up a great percentage of this ration, it is with their statistics that poverty is truly exemplified. Eugene Lewit addresses the issue of poverty by writing about the number of children living in poverty which in turn is a reflection of the working class mother. Lewit begins his appeal against the growing problem by noting that in 1991 there were 13.7 million children living in poverty in the Untied States – a number that included an increase of nearly one million from the previous year. (Lewit 176)
Lewit also noted that the total number of Americans living in poverty in 1991 was over 35 million people – more than 10% of the total population. Since women are the typical guardians of children, and supporters as in single mothers, and child support cases, the number of children living in poverty only means that the number of mothers living in poverty, who still maintain jobs, is increasing.