Women and Social Class: International Feminist Perspectives

Women and Social Class: International Feminist Perspectives

Women and Social Class: International Feminist Perspectives

Women and Social Class: International Feminist Perspectives

Synopsis

Challenging the view that class is dead, as well as the idea that it is a British phenomenon, this book argues that class needs to be regarded as a key concept in any attempt to understand women's lives.

Excerpt

Christine Zmroczek and Pat Mahony

This volume presents new ideas about class within an international context. Its particular focus is on women’s theorized experience of social class from a variety of feminist perspectives, contextualized in relation to the countries and regions in which the authors live. The contributors write about their experiences of class in Australia, Bangladesh, Botswana, Britain, Canada, Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic, India, Israel, Korea, New Zealand, Poland and the USA. Many of the authors have lived in more than one country or region and are able to make comparisons and illuminate differences and similarities between them.

The contributions reveal how varied entire class systems can be from one country to another, from one generation to another in the same country and from region to region. The authors analyze their own understandings of class and the implications for their feminism and for feminist theories in an historical period when capitalist market economics have claimed a globalizing influence and class has been said to be dead.

In editing this collection it was our aim to explore how class appears and operates by using experience as the basis of analysis. In particular we wanted to spotlight social class while retaining a focus on its interconnections with other defined and defining social and political categories.

The need for a book

Our interest in producing such a book came from two main sources. First, our earlier work on women and social class concentrated on the ways in which women from a range of working-class backgrounds, now in middle-class occupations, had experienced social class (Zmroczek & Mahony 1996a; Zmroczek & Mahony 1996b; Mahony & Zmroczek 1997b). Through that work we became increasingly aware of the need to widen the debates about how class works in . . .

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