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Feminist Perspectives on Institutions, Norms and Agency (Joint with IAFFE)

Paper Session

Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM (PDT)

Manchester Grand Hyatt, Old Town A
Hosted By: Union for Radical Political Economics & International Association for Feminist Economics
  • Chair: Shaianne Osterreich, Ithaca College

The Political Economy of Hegemonic Masculinity: Class, Race, and Work

Sarah Small
Colorado State University


This paper considers how the macro cultural dynamics of hegemonic masculinity complicate microeconomic negotiations within households. I begin by drawing connections among established microeconomic phenomena that scholars have attributed to a defense of masculinity or ‘gender deviance neutralization’. I then consider how hegemonic masculinities held by upper-income White men differ from or have influenced the masculine behavior and narratives of other groups of men. Specifically, I make use of PSID data to understand how men of different race and income groups respond to earning less than their female partners: an economic ‘threats’ to masculinity. Preliminary results indicate that upper-income White men have a stronger aversion to the situation in which a woman out-earns her male partner relative to lower-income White men and upper- and middle-income Black men. Using these findings, I discuss how this helps us understand the ‘hegemonic’ nature of hegemonic masculinity.

Exchange, Redistribution and Reciprocity in the Context of Provisioning Care in Contemporary Economies

Anna Zachorowska
Jagiellonian University


"Carl Polanyi posited three general patterns of integration of economic activity: exchange, redistribution and reciprocity (Polanyi-Levitt 2013, p. 94). Alike, Laville (2010) writes about three principles in the economy applying to exchange relations: the market principle, the principle of redistribution and the principle of reciprocity. In case of exchange or the market principle the main focus is monetary exchange. The second principle – redistribution - points at the role of the state, and the allocation accomplished through the system of regulations and taxes. The last case - principle of reciprocity - applies to social relations between individuals and/or groups of people. It is different that the other two, since there is usually no money or the authority of the state involved. It is conducted in order to build the society and strengthen social links between its members, and therefore it is impossible to detach it from social relations.
Care is a kind of human activity that is undertaken under all three circumstances in contemporary developed economies. Traditionally and still foremost it is provided within the household. In such a case the principle of reciprocity is applied, and care becomes a gift exchanged between household members. Nevertheless in developed economies, care is also provided within the community through the application of the principle of redistribution, and the involvement of the state. It is also provided via market, where the principle of exchange is applied, and provision of care is linked to monetary exchange.

" Selling Love" in a State of Conflict

Nicole Herpai
University of Manitoba


There are an estimated 80,100 female sex workers in Ukraine, offering services in a variety of sex work environments. Ukraine has prevalence rates of HIV and Hepatitis C (HCV) higher than the European mean, which disproportionately affect sex workers. The larger aim of our project is to investigate how the conflict in Ukraine alters the political, social, and economic environment, potentially changing the way that sex work is bought, sold, and produced, which in turn modifies the HIV and HCV risk environments for sex workers and their social-sexual networks. This paper focuses on the agency that female sex workers bring to their work, and identifies the nature of the economic choices they make. The project employed a mixed methods design that included mapping, bio-behavioural surveys and semi-structured interviews. Our results suggest that sex workers generally mitigate the risks present in the workplace, but risks also bring financial reward. In a situation of increasing economic pressures due to the conflict, some workers may choose to engage in riskier behaviour. Prevention efforts should start from a place of acknowledging that sex work is work, and like others doing wage labour, sex workers exert agency and negotiate choice on an ongoing basis.
JEL Classifications
  • B5 - Current Heterodox Approaches
  • J0 - General