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Gender, Work, and Economy: Unpacking the Global Economy

Gender, Work, and Economy: Unpacking the Global Economy

Heidi Gottfried

ISBN: 978-0-745-68052-1

Nov 2013, Polity

224 pages



This engaging new text uses a feminist lens to crack open the often hidden worlds of gender and work, addressing enduring questions about how structural inequalities are produced and why they persist. Making visible the social relationships that drive the global economy, the book explores how economic transformations not only change the way we work, but how we live our lives.

The full extent of changing patterns of employment and the current financial crisis cannot be fully understood in the confines of narrow conceptions of work and economy. Feminists address this shortcoming by developing both a theory and a political movement aimed at unveiling the power relations inherent in old and new forms of work. By providing an analysis of gender, work, and the economy, Heidi Gottfried brings to light the many faces of power from the bedroom to the boardroom. A discussion of globalization is threaded throughout the book to uncover the impact of increasing global interconnections, and vivid case studies are included, from industrialized countries such as the US and the global cities of New York, London, and Tokyo, as well as from developing countries and the emerging global cities of Beijing, Shanghai, and Dubai.

This comprehensive analysis of gender and work in a global economy, incorporating sociology, geography, and political economy perspectives, will be a valued companion to students in gender studies and across the social sciences more generally.

1. An Introduction to Gender, Work, and Economy: Unpacking the Global Economy
PART I Studying Gender, Work and Economy
2. Theories of Work and Economy
3. An Integrative Framework for the Study of Gender, Work and Economy
PART II Political Economy of Gender, Work and Economy
4. The Puzzle of Gender Segregation: From Historical Roots to Contemporary Divisions
5. Serving People: Gender and Services in the New Economy
6. Caring for People: Gender and Social Reproduction in Service Economies
7. State and Economy: Gender, Policy and Work
8. Terrains of Struggle: Gender, Work and Labor Organizing
PART III Gender, Work and Economy in a Global Context
9. Thinking Globally, Global Thinking: Theories of Internationalization and Globalization
10. Global Labor Markets, Commodity Chains and Gender Mobilities: Globalizing Production and Reproduction
11. On the Global Economic Grid: Tokyo Tales, London Chronicles, Shanghai Stories
12. New Political Landscapes: Gender Equality Projects in Global Arenas and Nation States

"“Heidi Gottfried’s synthesis and original analysis is a welcome addition to research trying to grasp the complexities of globalization from a feminist perspective. As review, critique and analysis, Gender, Work, and Economy makes an important contribution to our understanding of gendered social process, structure and relations.”
Work Employment and Society

“With its nuanced and systematic review of all the important issues, this will become a classic work on the field of gender and work.”
Sylvia Walby, Lancaster University

“Gottfried gives a thorough gendered analysis of work and economy in our globalizing world, showing theoretically and empirically how gender is central in these processes. This book provides essential grounding for future work in this area.”
Joan Acker, University of Oregon

“Gottfried has written a thoughtful, comprehensive, theoretically insightful review of the field of gender and work, locating the discussion within the evolving context of globalization. The book would make a terrific backbone for an advanced undergraduate or introductory graduate seminar in gender and work or gender and globalization.”
Leslie Salzinger, University of California, Berkeley

  • An eye-opening and engaging overview of understanding how the world of work and the economy intersects with gender.
  • Fully up-to-date, the book draws on recent data, and analyses contemporary trends and political/economic issues such as the financial crisis and recession.
  • Takes a global perspective from both industrialized and developing countries to broaden the debates and reflect the global interconnections in today’s world.
  • Highly relevant across different fields including sociology, political science, geography, political economy and gender studies.