Gender, Development, and Globalization: Economics as If All People Mattered

By Garrett, Stephanie | Women & Environments International Magazine, Fall/Winter 2004 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Gender, Development, and Globalization: Economics as If All People Mattered


Garrett, Stephanie, Women & Environments International Magazine


Gender, Development, and Globalization: Economics as if All People Mattered Lourdes Benería New York: Routledge, 2003. 212pp. $29.95.

In Gender, Development, and Globalization, feminist economist Lourdes Beneria uses an interdisciplinary feminist lens to examine the fields of global economics and international development. Looking at the theoretical trends that have dominated mainstream economics and development theory during the past century, Beneria takes issue with the socially disembodied, masculine world where quantitative analysis and universal categories have been used to legitimize capitalist relations. In developing her case for a feminist alternative that specifically addresses contemporary globalized capitalism, Beneria shows how feminist economics challenges mainstream economic thought by valuing human development and well-being over the more conventionally emphasized categories of economic growth and accumulation. For feminist economics, "the difference between paid and unpaid work leads to questions about the extent to which the economic rationality assumed to inform market-related behaviour is the norm ... [rather than] other motives ... commonly linked to unpaid work such as love, compassion, altruism, empathy, individual and collective responsibility, and solidarity."

Indeed, the lack of attention that has been devoted to the differences between paid and unpaid work is such a key issue for Beneria that she devotes an entire chapter to the topic. Reviewing labour data collected during the past two decades, she contrasts the statistics gathered by traditional economists with the realities experienced by women throughout the world. She claims that, due to gendered biases in its theoretical foundations, contemporary economic theory underestimates the contribution of unpaid work - especially women's domestic work and traditional subsistence labour - to national accounting statistics. In elaborating this case, Beneria takes ideas from thinkers in fields ranging from economics and development studies to philosophy to political science. In addition, she backs up her points by offering extensive empirical data in the form of graphs, tables, and charts.

In arguing the relevance of feminist economics in the present context of neo-liberal globalization, Beneria emphasizes the stark contrast between the formal and informal labour sectors. Globalization has brought about advances in education and more gender parity in wages for a Limited number of women in the formal economy. However, it has also been associated with such a massive expansion in the informal sector that Beneria insists we should now use the term "informal economy" to describe this sector.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Gender, Development, and Globalization: Economics as If All People Mattered
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?