Gender and Inequality in the Global Labor Force


Mills, Mary Beth. 2003. “Gender and Inequality in the Global Labor Force.” Annual Review of Anthropology 32: 41-62.

Author: Mary Beth Mills


This review examines the convergence of recent anthropological interests in gender, labor, and globalization. Attention to gender and gender inequality offers a productive strategy for the analysis of globalizing processes and their local variations and contestations. Contemporary ethnographic research explores multiple dimensions of labor and gender inequalities in the global economy: gendered pattersn of labor recruitment and discipline, the transnational mobility and commodification of reproductive labor, and the gendered effects of international structural adjustment programs, among others. New and continuing research explores the diverse meanings and practices that produce a gendered global labor force, incorporating the perspectives of men and women, masculinities and femininities, and examines how these processes of gender and labor inequality articulate with other structures of subordination (such as ethnicity and nationality) to shape lived experiences of work and livelihood, exploitation and struggle, around the world.

Topics: Economies, Economic Inequality, Ethnicity, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Globalization, Livelihoods

Year: 2003

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