New York; Chicago: Macmillan; McClurg, 1910; 1916. First editions. Both books in original publisher's cloth bindings with titles to spines and front boards. The former in VG+ condition with some sunning to spine and offsetting to rear board. The latter Near Fine, with the slightest bumping to extremities and early ownership inscription to front endpaper "C.W.B.M. [Christian Women's Board of Missions] Millersburg, Ohio Oct. 1918." Internally both copies clean, square, unmarked, and complete, with Wage-Earning Women retaining the two folding charts to the rear. A pair of important and ground-breaking studies on the conditions of working women in the United States and its national and international impacts.
Annie M. MacLean was a cutting-edge sociologist whose work focused on the conditions of working women in the United States. Immersive in her work, she was a contributor to Jane Addams' Hull House and the settlement house movement as well as an investigative researcher who took on a variety of jobs to study the treatment and conditions women experienced. In 1907-1908, MacLean supervised a major study on behalf of the YWCA, using a staff of 29 women sociologists surveying a total of 400 companies employing a total of 135,000 women in more than 20 cities (Fish). The result was Wage-Earning Women, a data-driven survey on women's labor and labor conditions the likes of which had never before occurred in the U.S. And it took into account a wide array of situations in which women functioned: industrial work, office labor, seasonal farming. MacLean's work ushered in a new era, where women could draw on measurable statistics to press organizations like the YWCA to move past an emphasis on individual wellbeing of women to an interest in studying the systemic conditions women faced and pressing for corrections through education and legislation.
Within six years, MacLean's work had already had a significant impact. Women Workers and Society follows up her previous work with a concise study on the improvements and new challenges faced by a recognizable and "an important class of women in society; namely the eight million or more women who go out from the home daily to the various tasks that the industrial and professional world offers them." While MacLean's research shows some progress for women, it undeniably concludes that "our industrial structure has grown up around a man's labor and is not yet adjusted to the capacity of women." This is a problem, as "American can never reach the highest point of strength if she fails to heed the needs of her women workers." Moving beyond the cold hard facts of both studies, this later work also issues a rallying cry for women to unionize and unite to demand change. Very Good + to NF (Item #3350)