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Gender, Capitalism and Globalization


Acker, Joan. 2004. “Gender, Capitalism and Globalization.” Critical Sociology 30 (1): 17–41.

Author: Joan Acker


Gendering the discourse of globalization will help to develop a better understanding of globalization processes and their consequences for women and men. I argue that gender processes and ideologies are embedded in globalizing capitalism in the separation of capitalist production and human reproduction and the corporate claims to non-responsibility for reproduction; in the important role of hegemonic masculinities in globalizing processes, and in the ways that gender serves as a resource for capital. I also discuss some of the consequences for women and men of these processes of globalization.

Keywords: globalization, gender, masculinities, capitalism, Third World women

Topics: Economies, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Globalization, Multi-national Corporations, Political Economies

Year: 2004

THE GENDERED IDEAL WORKER NARRATIVE: Professional Women’s and Men’s Work experiences in the new economy at a Mexican Company


Brumley, Krista M. 2014. “The Gendered Ideal Worker Narrative: Professional Women’s and Men’s Work Experiences in the New Economy at a Mexican Company.” Gender & Society 28 (6): 799–823.

Author: Krista M. Brumley


Workplaces have transformed over the past decades in response to global forces. This case study of a Mexican-owned multinational corporation compares employee perceptions of a new work culture required to confront these demands. Employees are expected to work long hours and to produce results, obtain the right skills and knowledge, and exhibit proactivity. Drawing on extensive qualitative data, this article theorizes what the expectations mean for women and men employees. The competitive culture reinforces inequality because expectations are grounded in the gendered “ideal worker” narrative. However, tensions ensue for the company that is partly characterized by paternalism yet requires a competitive work culture. The study uncovers a hybrid organizational logic with gendered assumptions undergirding a hidden inequality as professional women navigate the emergence of the glass ceiling in the global south.

Keywords: gendered organizations, globalization, mexico, paternalism, work-family

Topics: Economies, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Globalization, Multi-national Corporations Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Mexico

Year: 2014

‘Now, We Have the Same Rights as Men to Keep Our Jobs’: Gendered Perceptions of Opportunity and Obstacles in a Mexican Workplace


Brumley, Krista M. 2014. “‘Now, We Have the Same Rights as Men to Keep Our Jobs’: Gendered Perceptions of Opportunity and Obstacles in a Mexican Workplace.” Gender, Work & Organization 21 (3): 217–30.

Author: Krista M. Brumley


Drawing on extensive qualitative data at a Mexican-owned multinational corporation, this case study investigates professional employees' perceptions of changes to a prohibitive work policy requiring women to quit working upon marriage and having children. Employees believed the policy change meant working women were valued employees, but how this translated into opportunity highlighted distinct views of the types of positions professional women could occupy at the company, reinforcing sex-segregated job allocation. Whereas women's narratives pointed to cultural resistance, men's narratives attributed the dearth of women in higher level positions to their lack of professionalism and commitment to work. The work policy change only guaranteed the right for women to work as the company modernized to fit the neoliberal demands of the global marketplace. Now women faced the challenge of turning that right into career advancement in a traditionally masculine-defined company. I argue that even with the policy change, gendered discourses on women in professional occupations constructed and maintained gender inequities in the workplace. This study contributes to the scholarly discussion on gendered discourses within the context of global restructuring by showing how mechanisms at work maintain gender inequity in the workplace.

Keywords: gendered organizations, women in management, organizational culture, mexico, work-family

Topics: Economies, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Equity, Globalization, Multi-national Corporations Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Mexico

Year: 2014

‘Expatriates’: Gender, Race and Class Distinctions in International Management


Berry, Daphne P., and Myrtle P. Bell. 2012. “‘Expatriates’: Gender, Race and Class Distinctions in International Management.” Gender, Work and Organization 19 (1): 10–28.

Authors: Daphne P. Berry, Myrtle P. Bell


In the international management (IM) literature, 'expatriate' is used as a verb in reference to the transnational movement of employees by multinational corporations (MNCs) and as a noun in reference to the people who are so moved across borders to work. IM's resulting expatriate analyses apply only to a specific minority of relatively privileged people. However, as is clear in other bodies of literature, many others ('migrants') in less privileged class positions move themselves across national boundaries for work. In this majority are often women and men—people of diverse races, ethnicities, economic and social means—who have less education and who work in lower level jobs, also often in or for MNCs. Their invisibility in the IM literature sustains and reinforces gender, race and class-based disparities in globalization processes and work to the detriment of poor women of colour around the world. We call for gendering change that would make visible the invisible in IM scholarship related to expatriation.

Keywords: expatriates, migrants, class, international management, gender

Topics: Economies, Economic Inequality, Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Globalization, Multi-national Corporations, Political Economies, Race

Year: 2012

Foreign Employers as Relief Routes: Women, Multinational Corporations and Managerial Careers in Japan


Bozkurt, Ödül. 2012. “Foreign Employers as Relief Routes: Women, Multinational Corporations and Managerial Careers in Japan.” Gender, Work & Organization 19 (3): 225–53.

Author: Ödül Bozkurt


This article argues that multinational corporations may provide critical relief routes for women workers' progress in managerial careers in national contexts where their career paths with domestic employers remain blocked by traditional and institutional practices. It illustrates this possibility through a study of two women managers at the local head office of a foreign-owned multinational retailer in Japan and their career trajectories. The alternative career paths through foreign employers are not without their contingencies and constraints, and the article identifies the limitations of the transformative potential foreign employers could have in the larger realm of women's managerial employment in a restrictive context such as Japan. Noting that globalization incorporates different groups of workers into the global economy with different costs and rewards, the article concludes by calling for a more nuanced understanding of women's employment with multinationals and for further research that remains cognizant of the multiplicity of experiences in different contexts.

Keywords: multinational corporation, women in management, globalization, Japan

Topics: Economies, Gender, Women, Globalization, Multi-national Corporations Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: Japan

Year: 2012

Hegemonic Masculinities, the Multinational Corporation, and the Developmental State Constructing Gender in ‘Progressive’ Firm


Elias, Juanita. 2008. “Hegemonic Masculinities, the Multinational Corporation, and the Developmental State Constructing Gender in ‘Progressive’ Firms.” Men and Masculinities 10 (4): 405–21.

Author: Juanita Elias


This article analyzes how the mainstream study of multinational corporations (MNCs) reflects a set of gendered assumptions that construct the firm as a hegemonically masculine political actor. It is suggested that the same masculinist assumptions that are found in these writings on MNCs take shape within firms in the form of a masculinist managerialism that constructs women workers in terms of their “productive femininity.” There is an extensive literature on women's employment in MNCs and their subsidiaries; the author suggests that this focus on women workers is only a starting point for developing a gendered understanding of global production. Importantly, a focus on “feminine” work and the role that masculinist managerial practices play in underpinning this construction provides insight into the gendered structures and institutions that support the workings of the global political economy.

Keywords: factory work, multinational corporation, globalization, masculinities, gendered employment practices

Topics: Economies, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Globalization, Multi-national Corporations, Political Economies

Year: 2008

Gender Equality, Public Finance and Globalization


Elson, Diane. 2004. "Gender Equality, Public Finance and Globalization." Paper presented at the Conference on Egalitarian Development in the Era of Globalization, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, April 22-24.

Author: Diane Elson


‘Global inequalities in the distribution of income, wealth, power and influence are enormous and the spread of rapid and cheap global communications has increased the awareness of hundreds of millions of people of widespread injustice and the unfairness of the global economic and political system. Increasingly it is recognised that equity is a global public good…’ (Griffin, 2003:800).

This paper considers a particular dimension of inequality, the inequality between women and men; and boys and girls. It considers the inter-relation between, on the one hand, attempts to make public finance more gender- equitable; and on the other, the fiscal squeeze produced by some aspects of globalisation. 

The Beijing Platform for Action, agreed at the UN Fourth World Conference for Women in 1995, specifically endorsed measures to ‘engender’ government budgets, calling in Paragraph 345 for: the integration of a gender perspective in budgetary decisions on polices and programmes, as well as adequate financing of specific programmes for securing equality between women and men. 

Over the last decade, a series of gender budget initiatives (GBIs), in both South and North, have sought to improve the distribution, adequacy and impact of government budgets at national, regional and local levels; and to secure greater transparency in the use of public money; and greater accountability to women as citizens. The spread of GBIs has itself been an example of globalisation, in this case the globalisation of action for gender justice; facilitated by email, internet and air travel; supported by international foundations and international development cooperation funds.

But, it may be argued, GBIs have begun to engage with public finance just at the time when governments, especially in the South, have less and less control over public finance decisions, due to other aspects of globalisation. Globalisation of trade, investment and finance puts pressure on government to reduce tax revenues and reduce public expenditure, even as it creates a need for more investment in public goods to counteract inequality and insecurity. 

This paper considers the weaknesses and strengths of GBIs as they seek to promote gender equality in the diminished national fiscal space; and discusses the changes in global governance that are needed if efforts to make public finance more gender equitable are to be fruitful.

Topics: Economies, Economic Inequality, Gender, Gender Budgeting, Globalization

Year: 2004

Gender Budgets and Beyond: Feminist Fiscal Policy in the Context of Globalisation


Çağatay, Nilüfer. 2003. “Gender Budgets and Beyond: Feminist Fiscal Policy in the Context of Globalisation.” Gender & Development 11 (1): 15-24.

Author: Nilüfer Çagatay


Macro-economic theories and macro-economic policies in general, and fiscal policies in particular, are seldom, if ever, gender-neutral. Since the mid-eighties, gender budget analysis, which has been undertaken in many countries, has been a key strategy to challenge macro-economic theorising and policy-making. Such initiatives, along with a variety of pro-poor budget initiatives, constitute the major challenge to the prevailing fiscal policy stance in many countries. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the changes in the fiscal policy stance in the context of liberalisation and globalisation in order to draw out their implications for social inequality, especially gender inequality. The article ends by discussing a variety of policy advocacy positions open to feminist activists, to build on the work of gender budget initiatives.

Topics: Economies, Gender, Gender Budgeting, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Globalization

Year: 2003

Development at the Crossroads


Mosse, Julia C. 1993. “Development at the Crossroads.” In Half the World, Half a Chance: An Introduction to Gender and Development, 140–51. Oxford, England: Oxfam.

Author: Julia C. Mosse

Topics: Conflict Prevention, Development, Economies, Economic Inequality, Poverty, Environment, Gender, Women, Men, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Globalization, Health, Households, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Rights, Sexual Violence

Year: 1993


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