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SOC265H1 (64)

Political-economic approach to gender

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University of Toronto St. George
Renee Miller

SOC265Lec 4PoliticalEconomic Approaches to Gendertoday studying broad theoritical way to looking at gender commonly called politicaleconomic approachwhat does political economic meanPolitics broad questions of power and authority who makes decisions and in whose interest under what conditons does labour occur who is it made for etcWe are studying economy good services labours speficially looking at social relations underlying the economy what gender has to do with power and economy in genderto frame class today today basically talking about how gender is embedded in economy and politics macro view of gender and political and economy systems as a wholeConceptshow soc of gender actually understand the economynonfem think of economy activity as activities that involve money exchange of money at some level some activity that contributes to the GDP going to work being selfemployed investing money etcfeminists and gender scholars yeah that is true but want to talk about gender wage gap etc gender scholars also point out just talking about think involving money using narrow defn of what is economywe do a lot of stuff everday to provide material needs for ourselves that does not really include money going to job getting money and buying groceryprocess does not end there must make food after buying itfurther work reqd for this exchange of money to be made into usable state ex after buyingrenting apt must do daily work to keep house hygenic conditions of house politicaleconomic gender scholars want to expand defn of economy activity to include work things such as unpaid housework etc most of these economic but unpaid are typically done for free in the home by womensocialreproductionany activity that is necessary to sustain life on a daily and intergenerational basis like food prep elder care child care etc included as social reprosome ecoists childcareelder care only becomes economical when this work leaves the home for free and when we hire someone to do it when we pay for it this is when it shows up in statsfemgender scholars these activities are still economic activities bc it is necessary to sustain life this is tied up to feminist project to get housework seen as actual work it was instead something that women just didsummary politicaleconomic theoristsinterested in whole spectrum of activities that is involved in economics both paid and unpaidgendered division of labour virtually all socities split this work into things labelled womens workmens work tasks ascribed to each category will differ based on the society this labour was more rigid today than forty years ago despite the fact there has been progress there is still a high rate of this occurring we talk about women having a choice to work but not a choice to do childcaring and housework as with men they have a choose to do this work but must work outside the home men have the ability to negiotiate this with partner flexiable division of labourwomen in the workplace is not just modern concept but also occurred during 1800s with poor youngsingle women working in factories nonwhite women worked as domestic workers throughout history second thing about politicaleconomic theorists want to know about the social relationships within which these activities take place we are talking about gender and capitalismgender and economic system todaby analyzing the social systems that organize social reproduction we can understand who better benefits from these systems and what opportunities do these systems open up and also shut down parts of marxs theories relevant marx wrote famous analysis of capitalism how capists extract surplus labour from workers marxs feminisism took this idea and expanded his ideas and applied it to gender 1 thing about capism is that wage labour is unique to capitalism as the
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