Urban Survival: The World of Working-class Women

'The women speak frankly and honestly...Mrs. Sidel feels that...writing about working-class women is flawed by the upper-middle-class biases of the investigators. It is hard to spot any bias in these direct exposures of attitudes and convictions' - Doris Grumbach, New York Times Book Review . 'Sidel's in-depth portraits convey an empathy with these women and a total understanding of their situation that made me feel like I was inside their private world. Urban Survival is a very important book' - Joyce A. Ladner, author of Tomorrow's Tomorrow: The Black Woman .Although conditions have vastly improved since the days of sweatshops, the working woman is still likely to be underpaid, overworked, and without adequate resources. In Urban Survival eight working-class women of different ages and races speak with pride and independence about their daily reality, their hopes and fears.Ruth Sidel's new introduction shows that although she interviewed the women in the late seventies, their concerns are still current. Now, as then, the working woman worries about obtaining needed childcare, healthcare, and social services; about being the last hired and first fired; about welfare, drugs, and violence. The oral histories in Urban Survival reveal a vivid picture of the struggle for survival in today's cities. Ruth Sidel is the author of Battling Bias: The Struggle for Identity and Community on College Campuses ; Women and Children Last: The Plight of Poor Women in Affluent America ; and On Her Own: Growing Up in the Shadow of the American Dream . She is a professor of sociology at Hunter College, CUNY.