This article analyzes the complex and contradictory ways that migration changes women's status in New York City—both for better and for worse. The focus is on the impact of women's incorporation into the labor force. On the positive side, migrant women's regular access to wages—and to higher wages—frequently improves their position in the household, broadens their social horizons, and enhances their sense of independence. Less happily, many migrant women work in dead-end positions that pay less than men's jobs. Immigrant working wives also experience a heavy double burden since the household division of labor remains far from equal.
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