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GWST 3510 (20)
Jan Kainer (20)
Lecture 14

GWST 3510 Lecture 14: January 25

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York University
Gender and Women's Studies
GWST 3510
Jan Kainer

-the logic of globalization is premised on masculine projects that support risk-taking -these features of competition, individualism, and risk-taking -the gendered dimension of globalization referred to power relations between men and women -globalization processes provide resources differentially -the gendered hierarchical order are created in line with socially masculine constructions -part of the aim is to emphasize that gender identities and subjectivity are produced within production processes -global arrangements have a differential effect on men and women -young women are drawn into production as key labourers within the supply chain -disproportionate number of women Gendered Work: -TNCS use the social construction of gender and its ideology to their economic advantage to feminize (construct division of labour based on) the cheap labour of women Globalized Production: -one of the key observations of global production processes is that globalization has widened the distance where it is product, how, and where it is consumed ^-distance between where a thing is produced, how it is s produced, and where it is consumed has widened under globalization -consumer activism-campaigns produced and formed around global supply chains..campaigns to protect global supply chain production or offer alternative product: e.g. fair trade -consumer campaigns about the politics of globalization have existed for quite a while -consumer groups are responding to forces of globalization -critique branding (logos): see p 211: Gottfried -a lot of political activism about global supply chains have started in the 1990s and to the present day -global practice: the way people interpret the course of globalization ^-a wide range of consumer campaigns have arisen around the response to which globalization has organized production, especially around global supply chains -the differential between what is actually paid for a product and how much workers are paid: this is publicized by a great deal by a number of sociologists -Klein: popularized these arguments about global supply chains ^-she documented the closure of these factories -for instance, in the film, we’ll notice that the decline in government production has been significant -in the 1960s, 95% of the garments are made domestically, whereas now, 3% of the garments are made in the US -the other important dimension is the huge amounts of money spent in marketing: spending far more money on branding their products and very little money on labour and other costs in the production process ^-problematic nature of the way production is being organized -in the 1980s and 1990s, there was greater focus on designing brands (logo and image), rather than the quality of the product itself -companies advertised the product and designs, which was done in headquarters in the US, whereas the actual items are produced at the cheapest rates in other countries -people were furious about this -$32 being spent on retail market -transnational corporations contract out to suppliers: Klein documented this in her book -human rights abuses and labour abuses in supply chain in areas such as electronics, food, and the garment industry -in addition to the food retail supply chain, which was grown enormously in the past 10-15 years, we have garment electrons -the collapse of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh -suicides in Foxconn in China, where the Apple Iphone is produced -entry level workers are in despair ^-the suicides that occur at the Foxconn factory from time to time, reflect the precarious existence of Chinese migrant workers and their lack of money and resources to solve personal problems ^-the living wage is not paid unless you work overtime, but what is necessary is that you must recruit someone to the factory -supply chain production has been widely criticized for its bad treatment of workers -less discussion on the gender dimensions of supply chain -value chains are gendered in that the cost of social reproduction is offloaded in the household -global supply chains are able to pay their workers less because the cost of social reproduction is assigned to women and offloaded into the household -studies of feminized global labour markets find that the cost of social reproduction is offset by the communities -lower wage can be paid to women because of the communal living arrangement women develop (common in the context of Bangladesh) -employers also reduce the cost of social reproduction by regularly testing female workers for pregnancy and harassing those who are pregnant -the goal of employers is to lower the wage as much as possible by avoiding the cost of social reproduction -households are crucial to the commodity chain because they offer the basis of the reproduction of labourers in commodity chains -households reproduce the labour forces and household activities add value to commodity chains because women engage in reproductive work in their day to day work that reduces the cost -industrial homework is done in household -social reproduction reproduces the commodity chain labour force -it is mostly women who engage in this kind of work: -“it is important to recognize that households add value to commodity chains….indeed, households are centers of forms of both productive and reproductive labour that are essential to commodity is a conceptual mistake to draw an analytic distinction between the household sphere and production because the household is just as much a capitalist unit of production and reproduction as the farm, the factory, and the marketplace. To detect the entire surplus that is generated…we must examine households where the labour forces of all commodity chains are created and sustained” p. 59 -what Dunaway states is that the household is integral to global production, that the reproductive work that is done at the level of household feeds into production, as workers need to be sustained on a daily basis and how that is accomplished is through reproductive labour -even though reproductive work performed in a household is not seen as wage, it is nevertheless work that is valuable to the economic system -we should not conceptualize production and reproduction as separate spheres -production and reproduction are interrelated within the system of capitalism -household activities reproduce workers and that work of divisioning helps to lower the cost of paying workers a wage -the formation of feminized labour market is important because of the benefits to employers that rely on this supply chain -2 industries that rely on women’s work: 1) Garments 2) Electronics -there are a lot of similarities: Beginning in the 1980s, they began offshore production to reduce production costs: both the industries have industrial homework that is practiced in the North -production is decentralized on a global scale, many operate in export processes -companies like Levi's, Tommy, etc., no longer own factories or directly employ factory workers anymore -because they are labour intensive industries that rely on standardized forms of production, corporations make more money by contracting work to other countries, mostly relying on women who migrate to the city in search for employment -large new female labour markets around the world -majority of workers are women: 1) gender composition of labour markets is important: women are hired 2) Feminization refers to the gendering of work: the social construction of practices that underpin the gendered character of such work: the gendering of the work -**traditional feminine ideologies intersect with the hiring practices: -**hiring and the gender ideologies work together to solidify gender labour markets Electronics: -one of the largest manufacturing sector in the world -complex industry, highly decentralized, operates internationally, and uses an elaborate system -uses branding companies that subcontract manufacturing to an industry of network segments: they manufacture parts of the problem -the system of contract manufacturing is based on fabrication: -what is happening is that every aspect of manufacturing, the whole project and product, is contracted out -production of elec
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