Silvia Marina Arrom is one of the many authors of modern times to write about the women and their history in Mexico and America. She is a professor of history as well as a Professor of the studies of Latin America, at the Stanford University, United States of America. Her research interests include modern Mexico, the social history of Latin America, the U.S.- Latin American relations and women and the family. She has written books which include, "Riots in the Cities: Popular Politics and the Urban Poor in Latin America" (with Servando Ortoll); and "Containing the Poor: The Mexico City Poor House, 1774-1871." and "The Women of Mexico City, 1790-1857"; .
The Women of Mexico City, 1790-1857 was written by Sylvia in the 1980s. the book got published in the year 1985 by the Stanford University Press.
The book is the first detailed study and writing of the social history of the women of Mexico keeping in consideration different classes and institutional lines. This book is a path breaking study in which the author has analyzed a quite wide range of sources like census, notarial, court records, legal hand books, travel accounts and periodicals. She has also balanced the quantitative methods and all other resources she studied. The book is a finely made monograph, which is rich in empirical data as well as its theoretical assumptions.
Sylvia asks her readers that did the liberal ideas in the beginning of the nineteenth century alter the roles of the two genders. She told her readers that the Bourbon Policy of those ages mobilized the women for working as well as for motherhood by promoting and increasing their entry into the education and trades (Arron,1985 pp.15). The attitudes towards women changed in the wars of independence, which made the women of the elite class active in the government as well as in the charitable organizations. The notion that the women were useful socially held ground and as an example she quotes that the number of nuns reduced by 40% from 1790 to 1850 and the number of women in the service oriented areas grew.
The employment opportunities for women, however, did not grow as much as the number of women interested in them. This was mainly due to the political instability and the economic recession after independence. In Mexico City, only one sixth of the women in 1838 had attended the primary school (Arron,1985 pp.22). This was the highest level of education which was available to them at the time when a lot of women colleges were opening up in America. Only one fourth of the total women of Mexico worked and that too in domestic services, apparel and food industries. The women of the middle class, however, started working as teachers (Arron,1985 pp.26), in a hope of encountering expanding possibilities.
A constricted job market as well as a constant disdain for the work of women, made look the masculine protection quite ...