Production, Employment and Consumption
DOI link for Production, Employment and Consumption
Production, Employment and Consumption book
Global relations of production – how goods and services are produced, by whom and where – are the focus of much research in the social sciences, particularly in the discipline of International Political Economy (IPE). However, mainstream and ‘critical’ variants of IPE have consistently failed to engage with the feminist critique of production in any meaningful way (Waylen 2006). This chapter aims to demonstrate how and why gender matters in the analysis of global production. A focus on the female worker (in particular the female factory worker) has long been central to feminist approaches to international politics – enabling scholars to examine how processes associated with globalization are embedded in global hierarchies of gender, class and ethnicity (Pettman 1996; Peterson and Runyan 1999). Furthermore, feminist scholars remind us to be aware of the confl icting and complex nature of employment and the changes it brings to the lives of women (Elson and Pearson 1981). In common with earlier scholarship, the primary focus of this chapter is on women workers. However, this is not to suggest that we are employing gender as a straightforward synonym for women. Indeed, many of the recent studies of women workers in the global economy have also raised important analyses of the construction of men and masculinities within global systems of production (Elias 2008).