If working wives are the modern-day urbanizing peasant, then there are important differences between some “peasants” and others. In addition to the split between housewives and working women, this social revolution also widens a second split among women—between the women who do jobs that pay enough to pay a baby-sitter and the women who baby-sit or tend to other home needs. Carmen Delacorte, who sat for the children of two other families I talked to; Consuela Sanchez, the Salvadorian woman who babysat for the Livingstons’ daughter and whose mother was raising Consuelas child back in El Salvador; the My-
ersons’ Filipino baby-sitter, who had an eight-year-old daughter in the Philippines; the Steins’ housekeeper and assistant housekeeper: all these women are part of a growing number of workers forming an ever-broadening lower tier of women doing bits and pieces of the housewife’s role for pay. Most likely, three generations back, the grandmothers of all these women—professional women, baby-sitters, housekeepers—were housewives, though perhaps from different social classes. Since class has a remarkable sticking power, it may be that the granddaughters of working – class housewives moved into the economy mainly as maids, daycare workers, laundry and other service workers—doing low-paid “female” work—while the granddaughters of upper-middle and upper-class housewives tended to move in as lawyers, doctors, professors, and executives—doing mainly high-status “male” (and some “female”) professional work. The granddaughters of the middle class may have tended to move into the expanding world of clerical jobs “in between.” There is an important class difference between Carmen Delacorte and Ann Myerson: both form part of the new “peasantry,” but as in the industrial revolution of the nineteenth century, some newcomers to the city found it much tougher going than others, and were more tempted to go home.