Women's Employment and the Capitalist Family

Women's Employment and the Capitalist Family

Women's Employment and the Capitalist Family

Women's Employment and the Capitalist Family

Synopsis

Women's Employment and the Capitalist Familyresponds to the growing recognition of the economic, social, and electoral importance of women. This original study draws upon an interdisciplinary approach which fully incorporates both empirical and historical material. Ben Fine provides a critical assessment of the literature which examines the changing labor market participation of women. He explores such issues as the domestic labor debate, the role of patriarchy theory, gender and labor market theory, the capitalist family, and the position of working women in the economy. He uses demographic and historical factors such as the movement towards mass consumption through factory production to explain the timing of women's increasing dependence on waged work. Although economic issues are the main focus of the book, it also considers non-economic contributing factors, making full use of historical and empirical material. Women's Employment and the CapitalistFamilyis written from a marxist-feminist perspective, and argues convincingly that this approach offers a greater challenge to the orthodoxies within economics and sociology which have as yet been untouched by postmodern theories. Despite its theoretical focus, the book avoids technicalities and will be accessible to a wide, interdisciplinary audience.

Excerpt

This book has been written as a consequence of a research project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, to study consumption norms and female labour-market participation. It is complemented by a volume, jointly authored with Ellen Leopold and shortly to appear, covering both a critique of the treatment of consumption across the social sciences and a more positive analysis of consumption based on the idea of ‘systems of provision’. The research has also led to empirical estimation of consumption norms for different household types by use of data from the National Readership Survey and the General Household Survey. The writing up of these results is also soon to be completed.

Many, some unknown, have helped me during the preparation of this book. I wish to thank them all, but particularly Jan O’Brien whose comments and encouragement have led to vast improvements in presentation and content.

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