Gendered Labor: Paid and Unpaid Work in Contemporary Capitalism
Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM (PDT)
- Chair: Katherine Moos, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
The Impact of Gender and Race Segregation on Labor Organization in a Social Interaction Model
AbstractThis paper will contribute by formalizing the historical evidence of racial and gender conflicts within the working class as a game theory model. The formalization will build a framework that shows how the fall in the unionization rate in the U.S. can be understood as a social coordination problem. To do so, we confront the homogeneity of the working class by representing the fall in the unionization rate as a harmful result to the workers as a class but that emerges from the interaction of their individual pursuits.
Three versions of a social interaction model are used to explain the fall in the unionization rate as a result of competition within the workers. The existence of a coordination problem brings about an equilibrium at a low unionization rate, which is not the best social outcome for the workers. US data is used to complement the models. Furthermore this paper argues that bringing the feminist and racial perspective into the picture can help better understand the dynamics of class struggle and in general adding this layer of complexity can drastically change the results of economic models.
The Gendered Impact of Working Time Flexibilization
AbstractIncreased working time flexibility is part of a larger labor market restructuring and pattern of decentralization imposed by finance led capitalism. The research shows that some forms of flexibilization reinforce the sexual division of labor by maintaining working hours that are precarious, split-shift or even random, home-based work with low pay and low social status that perpetuates caregiving roles for women in the private realm. Concurrently, forms of flexibilization associated with better pay and more social status do not accommodate the existing sexual division of labor requiring total availability for both men and women. The article concludes that while the demand for more flexibility in working time negatively impacts workers generally, these impacts are stronger in the case of women and reinforce the sexual division of productive and reproductive work which contributes to maintaining gender inequality
Longevity: Crisis or Blessing
AbstractAs the U.S. birth rate drops to a record low, power structure think tanks are expressing alarm that an aging workforce causing rises in entitlement spending. But are there really too many elderly and not enough young? Did women deciding to do something with their lives besides motherhood ruin it for the country? Is feminism to blame? I look at how longevity combined with Social Security has reduced the workload of reproductive workers, with beneficial effects for women’s equality; how lies about Social Security are used to promote a high birth rate agenda; and how public pensions are essential to make good on the promise of reproductive freedom.
- B5 - Current Heterodox Approaches
- J7 - Labor Discrimination