Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science

Degree Discipline



The Negro represents a very important group in the field of domestic and personal service work* This is evidenced in the many studies which have shown that more Negroes are concentrated in this field than any other racial group. The preponderance of Negroes in this occupation has contributed greatly to the stigma placed upon domestic and personal service work, rendering it unattractive to many highly trained individuals. Despite this fact, however, the Negro domestic servant plays an important role in the Texas economy. He occupies a particular niche in the hierarchy of economic endeavor. This niche is determined by the nature of his work. By virtue of these facts, it has been recognized that his place in the economy is of such significance as to warrant an investigation in his behalf.


Historical Background of Domestic Service:Domestic service in its historical development has passed through particular stages of growth, dating from the collapse of feudalism to the post-World War period. Like other forms of labor relations, domestic service evolved in Europe, incident to the evolution of modern capitalism and the change from serfdom to free labor. After the abolition of feudalism domestic service became the chief occupation of the poorest elements among free laborers. It was an occupation from which men withdrew in increased numbers and for which women and children from the poverty-stricken rural countryside were recruited. The occupation was considered of the lowest type,

Subsequently, it was introduced in America by indentured servants. During this colonial period the social chasm that formerly existed between the employer and employee greatly diminished, and the term "help" was used to replace the word "servant", thus lending more dignity to the work.

In the South, Negro slave labor entirely displaced white labor and the status of the servant was more servile. In the North, due to immigration resulting from the Irish Famine of 1849 and the German Revolution of I848, status for servants continued to decline. The faintly drawn class line changed into a caste line. The native-born Americans feared to lose their social position by entering into competition with foreign labor.

Committee Chair/Advisor

H. A. Bullock

Committee Member

H. A. Bullock


Prairie View Agricultural and Mechanical College


© 2021 Prairie View A & M University

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Date of Digitization


Contributing Institution

John B Coleman Library

City of Publication

Prairie View





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