Home » Working Women of Collar City: Gender, Class, and Community in Troy, 1864-86 by Carole Turbin
Working Women of Collar City: Gender, Class, and Community in Troy, 1864-86 Carole Turbin

Working Women of Collar City: Gender, Class, and Community in Troy, 1864-86

Carole Turbin

Published November 1st 1994
ISBN : 9780252064265
Paperback
256 pages
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 About the Book 

Why have some working women been successful at organizing in spite of obstacles to labor activity? Under what circumstances were they able to form alliances with male workers? Carole Turbin explores these questions by examining the case of Troy, NewMoreWhy have some working women been successful at organizing in spite of obstacles to labor activity? Under what circumstances were they able to form alliances with male workers? Carole Turbin explores these questions by examining the case of Troy, New York, which in the 1860s produced nearly all the nations popular detachable shirt collars and cuffs. Troys collar laundresses were largely Irish immigrants who labored under harsh conditions, washing, starching, and ironing newly manufactured detachable collars for sale to retailers. The laundresses union was officially the nations first womens labor organization, and one of the best organized. In a period when many men were hostile to working women, they nevertheless formed close alliances with male labor activists. Turbins study of the collar workers develops new perspectives on gender. She demonstrates that womens family ties are not necessarily a conservative influence but may encourage womens and mens collective action. Her analysis of variations in collar womens employment patterns, family structure, and activism reveals new ways of conceptualizing differences in womens and mens work and family lives. Turbins discussion of major labor struggles in 1864, 1869, and 1886, which were integral to nineteenth-century working-class movements, reveals variations in the gender ideologies of women of different ethnic and religious groups. This analysis reveals the subtlety and complexity of gender differences between women and men.