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Multi-National Corporations

Equality Means Business? Governing Gender through Transnational Public-Private Partnerships


Prügl, Elisabeth, and Jacqui True. 2014. “Equality Means Business? Governing Gender through Transnational Public-Private Partnerships.” Review of International Political Economy 21 (6): 1137–69.

Authors: Elisabeth Prügl, Jacqui True


From the World Bank's 'gender equality is smart economics' to The Economist's 'womenomics' and Nike's 'girl effect', feminism seems to have well and truly penetrated the business world. Government action on behalf of gender equality is well institutionalized but private corporations appear as a new actor in this cause. This article asks: What do businesses and their public partners do in order to advance gender equality? What motivates their engagement now and how does it fit into existing public and private relationships of power? What do they mean for feminist agendas? How legitimate are they? And how effective are they? To address these questions the article examines four exemplary initiatives involving businesses in advancing gender equality and women's empowerment: the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Global Initiative, the World Economic Forum's Women Leaders and Gender Parity Program, the European Union's Programme on Gender Balance in Decision-Making Positions, and the UN Global Compact-UNIFEM Women's Empowerment Principles for Business. Our purpose is to conceptually locate these initiatives as new private forms of governance involving partnerships with governments. We assess these initiatives employing criteria of feminist evaluation and find decidedly ambiguous results. We argue that the new attention to gender equality in business and global economic governance is both an expression of and a key process in the transformation of states and corporations in the context of global competition and restructuring.

Topics: Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, International Financial Institutions, International Organizations, Multi-National Corporations

Year: 2014

Subalternization of Asian Women Workers in American Transnational Capitalism in the Late Twentieth Century


Kim, Min Hoe 김민회. 2009. “Subalternization of Asian Women Workers in American Transnational Capitalism in the Late Twentieth Century.” Journal of American Studies 41 (1): 45–71.

Author: Min Hoe Kim 김민회


One thing which Asian American scholars in the late twentieth century have considered as the most controversial issue in relation to Asian women subjectivity is how to recover visibility of Asian women subject and relocate them from the subalternized positions in the processes of multinational, corporate capitalism which collude with the local patriarchies and constantly-reinvented traditions by them. Gayatri Spivak indicates that those systems have erased the Asian women workers' desire not only for becoming an independent subject for those phllucentric labor systems but also for being a consuming subject to which they have produced by themselves. Similarly, Grace Chang, Evelyn Hu-DeHart, Aihwa Ong, and Andrew Ross argue that Asian and Asian immigrant workers have been placed at a doubly oppressive subject by domestic and international economic systems of labor division. By examining the subcontract system and sweatshops which substantially reinforce the collusion of local patriarchal social and economic system with the transnational capitalism, this essay reveals how the transnational corporations manipulate the cheap labor of Asian female workers without facing moral responsibility using subcontract system and further examine ethnic-based advertisement to the Asian countries at which their plants are located. The purpose of this essay is to raise such controversial issues in relation to two patriarchal economic systems on the surface and conclusively seek an alternative to centerizing women subjectivity from the marginalized and sublaternized positions by examining one Korean struggle with local and transnational capitalism.

Topics: Economies, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Livelihoods, Multi-National Corporations Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: South Korea

Year: 2009

Capital’s New Frontier: From “Unusable” Economies to Bottom-of-the-Pyramid Markets in Africa


Dolan, Catherine, and Kate Roll. 2013. "Capital’s New Frontier: From “Unusable” Economies to Bottom-of-the-Pyramid Markets in Africa." African Studies Review 56 (3): 123-46.

Authors: Catherine Dolan, Kate Roll


Over the last decade, the bottom-of-the-pyramid (BoP) approach has gained prominence as a tool of “inclusive” capitalism in sub-Saharan Africa. This approach reframes development as a seamless outcome of core business activities, one that can ameliorate poverty by bringing much-needed products and services to the poor and generating employment opportunities for informal and subsistence workers as “micro-entrepreneurs.” Yet while transnational capital has set its sights on Africa’s “underserved” yet potentially buoyant markets, BoP initiatives do more than seize upon the entrepreneurial talent and aspirations of Africa’s informal economies. This article argues, rather, that these initiatives create BoP economies through a set of market technologies, practices, and discourses that render the spaces and actors at the bottom of the pyramid knowable, calculable, and predictable to global business. The article describes how these technologies extend new forms of market governance over the informal poor, reconfiguring their habits, social practices, and economic strategies under the banner of poverty reduction.

Keywords: Bottom of pyramid, consumption, entrepreneurship, enterprise, international development




Topics: Development, Economies, Poverty, Globalization, International Organizations, Multi-National Corporations Regions: Africa

Year: 2013

Notes from the Field: A Roundtable: Migrant Women Negotiate Foreign Investment in Southern Chinese Factories


Ye, Zhang. 2004. "Notes from the Field: A Roundtable: Migrant Women Negotiate Foreign Investment in Southern Chinese Factories." Signs 29 (2): 540-3.

Author: Zhang Ye

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Economies, Gender, Livelihoods, Multi-National Corporations, NGOs Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: China

Year: 2004

Oil, Gender and Agricultural Child Labour in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria: Implications for Sustainable Development


Joseph-Obi, Chioma. 2011. “Oil, Gender and Agricultural Child Labour in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria: Implications for Sustainable Development.” Gender & Behaviour 9 (2): 4072–99.

Author: Chioma Joseph-Obi


The Niger Delta region of Nigeria continues to face the problem of agitations, violent conflicts, crimes, rural-urban migration, environmental degradation, militant resistance engendering a frightening state, characterized by violence and criminality in the form of kidnapping, prostitution, escalating unemployment, and vandalization. This paper examines how the activities of oil multinational corporations has compromised agriculture and child labour in the region. This paper is expository and analytical in thrust. It is based on data collected through a survey conducted amongst agricultural child labourers in Rivers State of Nigeria. The sample consisted of 180 respondents drawn from Afara, Kpite-Tai and Tombia, communities all in Rivers State using the purposive sampling technique. A total of 90 parents/guardians were also drawn from the three communities. The study assessed the relationship between oil and gas exploration, gender and the agricultural child labour. The relationship between household size and agricultural child labour and the relationship between health-related hazards and girl-child labour. Data generated from the survey were subjected to statistical analyses using simple percentages to establish primary correlation. It revealed that there is a significant relationship between (a) household size and child labour, and (b) oil and gas exploration and gender and child labour. This paper, was also viewed through the lens of Marxian Feminist Theory. Finally, some recommendations were made, top of which the existing poverty alleviation programmes in the country should be targeted at the girls' and women first.

Keywords: gender, Agricultural child labour, Niger Delta, poverty, oil, multinationals

Topics: Agriculture, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Economies, Poverty, Environment, Extractive Industries, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Girls, Health, Households, Livelihoods, Sexual Livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Multi-National Corporations, Violence Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2011

From “Country Bumpkins” to “Tough Workers”: The Pursuit of Masculinity Among Male Factory Workers in China


Kim, Jaesok. 2015. "From “Country Bumpkins” to “Tough Workers”: The Pursuit of Masculinity Among Male Factory Workers in China." Anthropological Quarterly 88 (1): 133-161.

Author: Jaesok Kim


This article explores the formation of a new industrial underclass in post- Mao China, focusing on a group of young male workers' gendered interpretation of their subjection to an exploitative factory regime. I examine the experiential and performative dimensions of this subjection, which are intricately linked to China's insertion into the global capitalist economy. The transformation of China into the "world's factory" depended on the dramatic increase of foreign direct investment and the rapid expansion of labor-intensive, low-skilled factory jobs that favored the labor of rural migrant women. While the "feminization of production labor" generated some positive outcomes among the women workers, it turned a group of unskilled young male migrants into an industrial underclass. These men assumed menial jobs that drained their physical strength while offering virtually no chance of promotion or improvement in their future lives. Male workers reacted to the exploitative factory regime by engaging in binge drinking and extreme forms of anti-social behavior. This case study shows how class solidarity is sometimes deflected into the domain of gender conflict.

Keywords: labor, gender, masculinity, multinational corporation, China, garment industry, globalization

Topics: Class, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Economies, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Femininity/ies, Globalization, Livelihoods, Multi-National Corporations, Political Economies Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: China

Year: 2015

Becoming an International Man: Top Manager Masculinities in the Making of a Multinational Corporation


Tienari, Janne, Eero Vaara, and Susan Merilainen. 2010. “Becoming an International Man: Top Manager Masculinities in the Making of a Multinational Corporation.” Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal 29 (1): 38–52.

Authors: Janne Tienari, Eero Vaara, Susan Merilainen


Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to address gender and management in contemporary globalization by focusing on the ways in which male top managers in a multinational corporation (MNC) construct their identities in interviews with researchers.

Design/methodology/approach - Qualitative analysis based on interviews with virtually all top managers in the Nordic financial services company Nordea (53 men and two women).

Findings – It is found that becoming international induces a particular masculine identity for the top managers. In becoming international, however, their national identification persists. The instability of the MNC as a political constellation leaves room for questioning the transnational identity offered.

Originality/value - This paper's findings suggest that in the global world of business, national identity can also be interpreted as something positive and productive, contrary to how it has been previously treated in feminist and men's studies literature.

Topics: Economies, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Globalization, Multi-National Corporations, Nationalism Regions: Europe, Nordic states

Year: 2010

Do Race and Gender Matter in International Assignments To/from Asia Pacific? An Exploratory Study of Attitudes among Chinese


Tung, Rosalie L. 2008. “Do Race and Gender Matter in International Assignments To/from Asia Pacific? An Exploratory Study of Attitudes among Chinese.” Human Resource Management 47 (1): 91–110.

Author: Rosalie L. Tung


Based on a survey of EMBA students in China and South Korea, this article examines how two sensitive but potentially salient criteria—race and gender—affect the selection of an executive to head the (a) foreign operations of a U.S. multinational in China and South Korea and (b) newly acquired U.S. operations of a Korean multinational. The results reveal a fairly complex picture of how gender, race, and the interplay of these two factors might affect these decisions. In the Korean sample, competencies mattered more than race and gender in a senior executive appointment to the U.S. operations of Korean multinationals. Also in the Korean sample, race and gender outweighed competencies in assignments to Korea. In the Chinese sample, competencies outweighed race and gender in a senior executive appointment in China. Overall, Koreans had a more positive attitude toward foreign-born Koreans than the Chinese toward foreign-born Chinese for senior executive appointments. Implications for international human resource management and diversity management, both theoretical and applied, are discussed. 

Topics: Economies, Gender, Multi-National Corporations, Race Regions: Americas, North America, Asia, East Asia Countries: China, South Korea, United States of America

Year: 2008

The Impact of Japanese Corporate Transnationalism on Men’s Involvement in Family Life and Relationships


Yasuike, Akiko. 2011. “The Impact of Japanese Corporate Transnationalism on Men’s Involvement in Family Life and Relationships.” Journal of Family Issues 32 (12): 1700–25.

Author: Akiko Yasuike


This study examines the ways in which Japanese corporate transnationalism affects husbands’ involvement in family life and marital relationships primarily from a perspective of wives. It is based on interviews with 22 Japanese wives and 4 husbands. Studies of Japanese corporate transnationalism treat men as mere supervisors to local workers or representatives of corporations and pay little attention to their family relations. The study found that corporate transnationalism weakens the Japanese masculine corporate culture (which creates absent husbands and fathers) and consequently provides Japanese men an opportunity to consolidate family bonds and integrate themselves into family life, though not all men take advantage of this opportunity. Inasmuch as transnational corporate families are isolated from their friends and relatives in Japan, the degree and willingness of husbands’ involvement in family life has a substantial effect on the quality of marital relationships.

Keywords: gender, family, corporate transnationalism, Japanese

Topics: Economies, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Masculinism, Households, Multi-National Corporations Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: Japan

Year: 2011

Judi Bari and ‘The Feminization of Earth First!’: The Convergence of Class, Gender and Radical Environmentalism


Shantz, Jeffrey. 2002. “Judi Bari and ‘The Feminization of Earth First!’: The Convergence of Class, Gender and Radical Environmentalism.” Feminist Review, no. 70, 105–22.

Author: Jeffrey Shantz


This paper addresses feminist materialism as political practice through a case study of IWW-Earth First! Local 1, the late Judi Bari's organization of a radical ecology/timber workers' union in the ancient redwood forests of Northern California. Rejecting the Earth First! mythology of timber workers as 'enemies' of nature, Bari sought to unite workers and environmentalists in pursuit of sustainable forestry practices against the devastating approaches favoured by multinational logging corporations. In so doing, she brought a working-class feminist perspective to the radical ecology of Earth First! Bari's work provided a significant instance of community organizing in opposition to the masculinist, exclusionary practices and misanthropic posturing of Earth First!'s self-proclaimed 'eco-warriors' and 'rednecks for nature'. What is perhaps most interesting about the deveelopment of Local 1 is the articulation of feminist, environmentalist and labour discourses through a series of political actions.

Keywords: ecofeminism, anarchism, syndicalism, Earth First!, industrial workers of the world, deep ecology

Topics: Civil Society, Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Masculinism, Multi-National Corporations, Political Participation Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2002


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