Gender and Identity Construction: Women of Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Turkey

By Feride Acar; Ayşe Günes-Ayata | Go to book overview

THE CONSTRUCTION OF GLOBAL MARKETS
ENGENDERING POLANYI’S THE GREAT
TRANSFORMATION

LOURDES BENERIA


1. Introduction

The process of accelerated globalization that we have witnessed since the late 1960s or early 1970s has been a most powerful source of change—driving national economies and their international dimensions, and affecting many aspects of social, political and cultural life. Researchers, academics, activists and policy makers have found it imperative to focus on these processes so as to best understand the world we live in and its present and future directions. Given the multidimensional aspects of globalization, most academic disciplines have engaged in its analysis. From an economic perspective, a basic feature of globalization is that it has taken place within the context of an ever-expanding market transcending national boundaries. Although the so-called neoliberal model of development has returned to the laissez-faire discourse and practices that characterized nineteenth century capitalism, its global framework raises a different set of issues, thus creating similarities and differences when compared with the earlier expansion of markets. This is so also for countries in transition to market economies from the centralized planning of the former Soviet Union. For them, the formation of domestic markets has been running parallel to their integration in the global economy and to its capitalist framework.

Within this context, much has also been said about gender dimensions in the global economy. Due to the impact of the international women’s movement during the past quarter century, gender has become an increasingly important category of analysis, not just in academic work but also in policy and action, and in the dynamics of daily life. As a result, different aspects of the global economy have been analyzed from a gender perspective. They range from topics dealing with women’s employment and the

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