Many social authors have agreed that the entire industrialized world is undergoing a major revolution. This new revolution is not as obvious as a political coup d'etat, nor is it as visible in terms of tangibles as the industrial age. Instead, this revolution is the changing way that women's roles are accepted and promulgated in contemporary society. Indeed, evidence indicated that there will be even more drastic and substantial change as the century draws to a close.
This alteration in women's status and roles has arise since the beginning of the twentieth century. However, the major changes have taken place since 1960. For instance,
. . . between 1960 and 1982 the number of women in the work force increase by more than 106 percent. In 1960 women comprise 33.4 percent of the work force. By 1982, 43 percent of the total work force was female. In 1960 about 38 percent of all women were employed. By 1982 almost 53 percent were employed, bringing the female work force up to 48 million.1
One would initially think that this increase in visibility and mobility would have engendered a great deal of economic opportunity for women, and for some, it indeed has. The cold reality of the situation, however, is that although women's roles have dramatically changed in the past three ____________________
1 Harrell R. Rodgers, Jr., Poor Women, Poor Families, (New York: M.E. Sharpe, 1986), 4.
decades, public policies, wages, and other brands of social welfare have not kept pace with the statistical rise and demographic makeup of the work force. It will be the subject of this paper to examine and analyze the issue of 'the feminization of poverty,' with particular emphasis on the 1980s and the years of Reaganomics. After a brief review of the literature, the paper will identify the concept of poverty, the realities of families in poverty, and give some distributions, trends, and changing statistics. The paper will then turn...