"I highly recommend this insightful, lyrically crafted study of work in an emotion-laden organization that deals with women victims of interpersonal violence."—Patricia Yancey Martin Men and Masculinities
"A useful contribution to qualitative literature on human service processes and encounters."—Gale Miller Symbolic Interaction
“Moral Wages makes an important contribution to research on victim advocacy.”—Emily Cabaniss & Kris Macomber Qualitative Sociology
"Kolb has written a wonderful book that takes us inside agencies serving victims of sexual and domestic violence. With a clear-eyed yet empathetic perspective, he shows how advocates define and manage their identities in the face of ongoing, often conflicting pressures from clients, government bureaucracies, and their own principles and ideologies."
—Rose Corrigan, Drexel University
"In Moral Wages, Kenneth Kolb takes us into the world of domestic violence advocacy work, introducing us to voices of victim advocates. In the face of anemic state, local and federal resources these advocates work for “moral wages,” positive feelings not available in all lines of work. However, as Kolb documents, male allies benefit disproportionately from this symbolic reward system, thus providing us a cautionary tale highlighting the gendered dimensions of emotion work, even in organizations designed to address gender inequality."
—C.J. Pascoe, author of Dude, You’re a Fag: Masculinity and Sexuality in High School
"Domestic violence shelters are staffed by dedicated women and men who perform gut-wrenching labor for few extrinsic rewards. So why do they do it? In this sensitive ethnography, Kenneth Kolb reveals that, more important to these workers than money and prestige are the symbolic rewards they receive. They get the right to believe they are good, virtuous, and moral beings. But these symbolic rewards are doled out unequally on the basis of gender. Kolb finds that men have to do less work than women do to receive their moral wages, revealing men’s advantages even in the predominately female world of compassionate labor."
—Christine Williams, University of Texas at Austin
"The research is very well done and yields many interesting findings, unlike anything else that is out there. It will be very good in the classroom, and it should have wide appeal for practitioners as well. There is a great deal of new information and new ideas in this study, and a book written from the perspective of a male advocate is a welcome addition to the field."
—Jennifer Dunn, Texas Tech University