Globalization: Social & Geographic Perspectives

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Blog 4 on Political Globalization: Gender, Race, and Citizenship

April 4th, 2011 · 5 Comments
Apr 5/Political Globalization & Cultural Globalization · Mar 29/Political Globalization · Uncategorized

Nannies, Maids and Sex Workers in the New Economy:

Women from first world countries must work now, more than ever.  Most men no longer make enough money to support an entire family.  Increased divorce rates also force many women to work.  If women are working full time, who is watching the kids, cooking and cleaning?  A “second mommy” is often needed in first world country families where moms work full time.  These second moms come from third world countries.  Second moms (nannies) often leave their own children and families behind to work in first world countries.  Nannies are taking care of other families and children.  They do this to support their families by sending money back home.  While nannies from the third world depend on families in the first world for jobs, families in the first world now depend on women in the third world to take care of their children.  Many first world families now need nannies in order to survive.  Without a nanny, many woman would not be able to work because they would need to take care of their children.  Now that they can rely on nannies from third world countries, woman can go out and make money to support their families.  First world countries are now relying on third world countries.

I work in Great Neck, Long Island as a tutor/ babysitter.  When I take the children to the park, I am the ONLY babysitter there who is not a nanny from a third world country.  There are no moms at the park like when I was young.  Most children are there with a nanny who speaks little or no English. 

The Wealth Gap:

Women of color are faced with a double consciousness (as WEB Dubois would call it).  Not only are they oppressed because they are woman, but they are also of color.  Women of color earn an extremely disproportionate amount of wealth compared to white women and men of color.  The gap of wealth between women of color and others is shocking.  Even though on average, women of color earn more college degrees than men of color, the women still accumulate less wealth.  Even though some women of color have jobs which pay a decent salary (income), they do not hold jobs that include fringe benefits.  Men of color often hold jobs that include fringe benefits which allows them to accumulate wealth.  This is one reason that women of color have less wealth, on average, than men of color.  I always knew there was a wealth gap, however, these numbers were alarming.  If woman continue to have jobs where they do not receive fringe benefits, they will have less wealth to pass down from generation to generation.  This creates an endless cycle of low wealth among woman of color.  As suggested by Marico Chang, steps need to be taken to fix this gap.  Once suggestion was that we need to shift policies to create wealth creation instead of income creation.  This is one recommendation that could help to close the wealth gap.  Steps must be taken to close this gap.

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5 responses so far ↓

  • 1    jasmina786 // Apr 4, 2011 at 11:57 am

    It is sad to see that women and man of color are discimminated as well as women who work the same as men and receive less pay. It seem that no matter who works the same degree there is still that discrimmination. A friend of mine who use to work in a private school saw all the discrimmination towards her, she received less pay while her male coworker received more and they both had the same degree. The janitor even made more. When my friend asked for a raise, the prinicipal went far to tell her that there are people in third world countries who do not make much and we should think about them and how are they earning? My friend even fought for her maternity leave whereas another of the prinicpals favorite was given a good two month maternity leave. It makes me angry that such places continue to abuse those who work for them. My friend finally left the school with a bad taste of bitterness in her mouth. I feel that the government should go after the bosses, the ones who control the company and see if they are not abusing their employees. They should be held responsible completely if any of their employees are being treated unfairly.

  • 2    astein102 // Apr 5, 2011 at 12:17 am

    While I agree that there is sexual discrimination in our society, especially against woman of color, there seems to be another factor. The two callers to the station both seemed to have the same problem. They were both single mothers, and as such taking care of their child or children were responsible for their lack of wealth. I have a feeling, that in many cases, this is the largest contributor to the lack of wealth for women of color.

  • 3    Prof. Hala // Apr 5, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    Yes, the neglect of wealth disparities, in comparison with income disparities, is a big problem, as is the failure to appreciate how a lack of wealth (i.e., debt) can impact, even destroy, one’s life chances. Homes have long served as this wealth “cushion,” to protect people in hard times and now with the foreclosure/housing crisis apparently worsening the lack of wealth/debt is facing millions of Americans.

    I’d even say women of color face a “triple-consciousness” — being American (as DuBois would emphasize), being women, being of color. Great reference.

    Alex, that’s an excellent point. I think the stats show relatively high rates of single motherhood within minority communities. And many of these moms can’t count on child support or any help from their baby daddies.

  • 4    dianab // May 16, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    Your post is really insightful and interesting. I really enjoyed reading it. I just wanted to add another point because we were talking about this in my social problems class. Another issue is that the US economy loses a ton of money when migrant workers send their pay overseas to their families.

    The fact that women of color earn so little, and that this practice seems to be institutionalized in this country on at least some level, really upsets me. Another manifestation of conflict theory rearing its ugly head.

  • 5    Prof. Hala // May 17, 2011 at 12:05 am

    Good additional points, Diana, about how this rickety, multi-tiered de facto system of immigration/migration that we have in place perpetuates all kinds of inequalities, among US residents of various statuses, between genders, races, etc. And then there’s the American public (in that you may include all people who live here, regardless of their status, or just those committed to making a life here, or the taxpayer, which does include many illegal immigrants, who pay into social security using fake ss#’s, or just American citizens). The public, local and federal gvts and programs, loses out when so much $ is sent to their countries of origin, rather than funneled back into the local economy. But without remittances, entire villages could fall apart, so dependent are their local economies on $ from abroad… And on it goes.

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