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Political Economies

The Abject Bodies of the Maquiladora Female Workers on a Globalized Border


Taylor, Guadalupe. 2010. “The Abject Bodies of the Maquiladora Female Workers on a Globalized Border.” Race, Gender & Class 17 (3/4): 349–63.

Author: Guadalupe Taylor


 The topic of the body has been analyzed from a variety of perspectives. Although biology does not define women, it cannot be denied that women's bodies play a major role in determining their lives. This paper will question the universalism of materialist feminist theories to explain the violence against the bodies of female maquiladora workers. First, I will present Simone de Beauvoir and Judith Butler's conceptualizations of the female body. Second, I will analyze if the Socialist feminist theory is broad enough to encompass the bodies of maquiladora workers in its analysis. Finally, I will advocate the need for conceiving a transcultural-transnational feminist approach that includes class, gender, culture, state, globalization, free-trade agreements, and phenotype of women who work in the maquiladora industry. It seems necessary to formulate an approach that considers a broad scope of issues that affect maquiladora workers who form part of the proletariat on the border between the United States and México. Since the Mexican government exempt of taxes to US companies that opened factories on the border, NAFTA has turned Mexico in an excellent source of profits for transnational companies based on the exploitation of Mexican workers, mainly female workers. The patriarchal state and capitalism have reinserted women in a space where they have lost citizenship and where their bodies have become abject objects for the benefit of globalized industrial production. I suggest that a transcultural-transnational feminist approach is needed to explain and to foster an agenda for improving the plight of the maquiladora workers. This approach is suitable for this population because it includes class, gender, culture, State, capitalism, free trade agreements, and the phenotypes of all women.

Keywords: abject, maquiladora workers, borders, body, ethnicity, social class, patriarchy, gender, race, oppression, capitalism, feminism, materialism, Marxism, feminist theory, indigenous, praxis, disapora, transcultural, transnational, western, mexico, mexican

Topics: Citizenship, Class, Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Femininity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Globalization, Livelihoods, Multi-national Corporations, Political Economies, Violence Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Mexico

Year: 2010

“When will I get my rest?” Neo-liberalism, women, class and ageing in Ibadan, Nigeria


Adeniyi-Ogunyankin, Grace. 2012. “‘When Will I Get My Rest?’ Neo-Liberalism, Women, Class and Ageing in Ibadan, Nigeria.” Agenda 26 (4): 29–36.

Author: Grace Adeniyi-Ogunyankin


In-depth interviews about gender and the urban political economy in Ibadan, Oyo State Nigeria with a sample of 24 women aged 46 to 83 years revealed that there are class differences in ageing as it pertains to women’s experiences of financial security and care work. Based on interview responses, this briefing argues that neoliberalism has exacerbated the class disparity in ageing among women in Ibadan. Neoliberalism has heightened urban inequality through policies that have led to currency devaluation, state retrenchment of social services and employment insecurity. These policies have in turn intensified women’s triple burden of reproduction, production and community management as women bear the responsibility of absorbing the shock of neoliberal economic policies. Moreover, contrary to neoliberal assumptions that older people are mainly dependants who rely on their families for financial assistance and care, poorer older women are also shock absorbers as far as economic activity and care work is concerned. This briefing highlights that neoliberalism in fact increases the burden on older people, especially women, and can have adverse effects on the ageing process in that it exacerbates deprivation and increases the social constraints faced by poor elder women and their burden of care.

Keywords: neoliberalism, gender, age, class, financial security, care work

Topics: Age, Class, Economies, Economic Inequality, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Households, Livelihoods, Political Economies, Security Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2012

Dangerous Places and Nimble Fingers: Discourses of Gender Discrimination and Rights in Global Corporations


Poster, Winifred R. 2001. “Dangerous Places and Nimble Fingers: Discourses of Gender Discrimination and Rights in Global Corporations.” International Journal of Politics, Culture & Society 15 (1): 77-105.

Author: Winifred R. Poster


This paper considers how women's employment rights are being constructed in multinational corporations by examining three high-tech organizations-a U.S. company in Silicon Valley, its subsidiary in New Delhi, India, and a comparable local Indian company. It first describes the legal frameworks for addressing gender employment discrimination by state governments in India and the United States. Then it examines how these frameworks are appropriated and negotiated within the local contexts of the workplaces in the study. Finally, it reflects on recent transnational attempts to legislate and enforce women's employment rights in multinational corporations, specifically the challenges that such attempts face in light of the three case studies.

Keywords: gender, women's rights, employment discrimination, multinational corporation, international labor standards

Topics: Economies, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Governance, Multi-national Corporations, Political Economies, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Americas, North America, Asia, South Asia Countries: India, United States of America

Year: 2001

Women in Multinational Corporations: Old Myths, New Constructions and Some Deconstruction


Dallalfar, Arlene, and Siamak Movahedi. 1996. “Women in Multinational Corporations: Old Myths, New Constructions and Some Deconstruction.” Organization 3 (4): 546–59.

Authors: Arlene Dallalfar, Siamak Movahedi


When compared with domestic business operations, multinational corporations include fewer women at managerial levels in their foreign subsidiaries. Debates have ensued regarding whether women's absences from these positions are due to lack of the particular managerial abilities required for international assignments. In this article we argue that too much has been assumed about the sociopsychological requirements for international management, both for men and women. Through critical re-analyses of data from a previous study we contend that understanding 'women's advantages/disadvantages' in international management requires understanding women's structural positions in the First World-Third World political economy.

Topics: Economies, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Multi-national Corporations, Political Economies

Year: 1996

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

‘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

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

The Political Economy of Women's Budgets in the South


Budlender, Debbie. 2000. “The Political Economy of Women’s Budgets in the South.” World Development 28 (7): 1365-78. 

Author: Debbie Budlender


Soon after the democratic elections of 1994, South Africa embarked on its first women's budget exercise, a collaborative venture between nongovernmental organizations and the South African parliament. Some time later the South African government initiated its own exercise in gender analysis of the budget. The South African initiative has attracted a lot of interest from around the world. In a number of other countries governments and civil society players have embarked on gender analysis exercises, often with strong support from international donors. This paper discusses the ways in which these exercises can assist in addressing gender issues, as well as some of the tensions involved.

Topics: Gender, Gender Analysis, Gender Budgeting, Gender Mainstreaming, Governance, Political Economies Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2000

Mujer Rural: Cambios y persistencias en Ámerica Latina


Anderson, Jeanine, Luisa Elvira Belaunde, Rita Bórquez, María del Rosario Castro, Julia Cuadro Falla, María Cuvi Sánchez, Alejandro Diez Hurtado, Karim Flores Mego, Elizabeth López Canelas, Flor Edilma Osorio and Patricia Ruiz Bravo. 2011. Mujer Rural: Cambios y persistencias en Ámerica Latina. Lima: Centro Peruano de Estudios Sociales- CEPES.

Authors: Jeanine Anderson, Luisa Elvira Belaunde, Rita Bórquez, María del Rosario Castro, Julia Cuadro Falla, María Cuvi Sánchez, Alejandro Diez Hurtado, Karim Flores Mego, Elizabeth López Canelas, Flor Edilma Osorio, Patricia Ruiz Bravo

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Civil Society, Domestic Violence, Economies, Economic Inequality, Poverty, Extractive Industries, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Men, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Femininity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Gender Equality/Inequality, Globalization, Health, Political Economies, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights, Security, Sexual Violence Regions: Americas, Central America, South America

Year: 2011

Informalization, Inequalities and Global Insecurities


Peterson, V. Spike. 2010. “Informalization, Inequalities and Global Insecurities.” International Studies Review 12 (2): 244–70.

Author: V. Spike Peterson

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Political Economies

Year: 2010


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