What were the roles of women and minority races in the labor force? What were their gains and losses in power and prestige?

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lprono eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I am assuming that this question, like the other two that you posted, refers to the end of the First World War and the 1920s. These years were characterized by the expansion of the consumer society, technological change and the growth of the American middle class.

During the 1920s, women continued to enter the labor market, a trend begun with the First World War. It is estimated that, by the end of the decade, the women in paid labor had increased by 2 million since the end of the war. Yet, for the most part, women continued to have to take jobs refused by men such as teachers, nurses, waitresses, hairdressers, typists and bookeepers. The number of women employed in factories did not grow significantly. Their wages were much lower than those of male workers. Minority women, especially African-Americans, Mexicans and Japanese, were drawn to the labor market because of economic necessity. As racism was still high in the 1920s, these female workers faced low pay and discrimination on the workplace. In general, the 1920s were years characterized by prejudice and intolerance against minority races. Vast sectors of the American society supported discrimination against immigrants and racial minorities which they considered inferior (the Sacco and Vanzetti case is one of the most tragic examples of this racism coupled with the 1919 Red Scare).