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Women and Gender Studies
June Larkin

1. define neoliberalism 2. 3 examples connecting it with gender, health and neoliberalism Jan 23 lecture – Globalization – the drive towards an economic system dominated by supernational trade and banking institutions that are not accountable to democratic processes or national government - Characterized by an increase in cross-boarder economic, social and technological exchange under conditions of extreme capitalism (Msimang, 2003/2013) 1. The definition of Neoliberalism: (Guthman, 2009) Neoliberalism – human well being best achieved within an institutional framework characterized by strong private property rights, free markets, and free trade (Guthman 2009) - Commodification –making and creating markets (Guthman, 2009) - self reliance (Dingo, 2007) - neoliberalism defined by Harvey is a theory of political economic practices that states that human well being can be best advanced by liberating individual entrepreneurial freedoms and skills within an institutional framework characterized by strong private property rights, free markets, and free trade. He and others argued that neoliberalism as a political project emerged as a fix for the crisis in global capitalism in 1970s where in the US there was falling rates of profit under Fordist manufacture, high inflation, and the Vietnam war causing debt causing a rise to accumulation crisis - this means a surplus of capital relative to profitable opportunities to invest -this then paved the way for new right and its desire to dismantle what existed in the welfare/ regulatory state - fix was given by expansion of labour and capital in geographic expansion paving the way to globalization -neoliberal impulses to tear down restraints to capital accumulation new contradictions came about - today's worldwide recession is the result of lack of effective demand since the middle class have eroded in first world and "bloody taylorism" has lead to capitalism abroad - what has saved US middle class capitalism is producer-consumer relationship where cheap goods made by cheap labour (exploiting the third world) - the overarching argument is that the global political- economic contradictions of the neoliberal era are literally embodies whereas the problem of obesity is implicated in how neoliberalism produces different sorts of subjects - neoliberalism's broader solution has become the commodification of everything , meaning not only making needs and desires that have not previously existed - - fast food has become a good fix for capitalism as it involves the super exploitation of the labour force as well as an outlet for surplus food making more body mass - When inelastic demand comes-when one reaches the upper limit of food consumer demand because there is a limit on the total amount that one person can eat or when consumers want to remove the mass? Neoliberalism’s fix to this is that it creates purchasable solutions to the problems that it generates like comodifying dieting as well as eating like Jenny Craig and weight watchers frozen dinners, all help to break from problem of inelastic demand - material contradictions of neoliberal capitalism show that contradictions are solved by not just surplus distribution but in bodies. So bodies become not just sites of where labour power circulates but also a place where capital circulates as commodities and a place where capitalisms contradictions are temporarily resolved - neoliberalism commodification of everything ensures that getting rid of food weather it is bodies, municipal dumps, or food aid have open up new markets which is central to capitalist accumulation as is producing and eating it - at the same time neoliberalism encourages a political economy of bulimia it also reinforced what susan bordo calls a culture of bulimia but contrast to bordo psychoanalytic reading the author focuses on a neo-fucaludian notions of govern mentality to understand the simultaneous production of fat and thin - the idea that choice represents a right is a neoliberal subject formation and excessing our freedom - Americans hold the notions of citizenship as participation in the public for more individualistic notion of self as the citizen consumer whose contribution to society is purchasing the products of global capitalism to be a American identity - another rationale of neoliberal government is responsibilization - where to excersie ones choice freely, one must be shaped and guided into one capable of excessing freedom - so thinness being a poor health indicator is nevertheless a reflection of self control and personal responsibility regardless if its consciously pursued - the worthy neoliberal citizen must seem to want less while spending mote on becoming thin which is solution for subjectivity and capitalism - Foucault notion is that such practices were aimed at the population level where they are the unit of intervention and regulation and governments saw its purpose as intervening on behalf of improving biological vitality for the social and by doing this it makes norms and averages a powerful regularizing mechanism creating both citizenship and nationhood - biopolitics inform notions of public health as public health interventions are not amines at those at risk but really its to change societal norms of behaviour (Doyal, 2002) -sex and gender have shaped women's experience of global change in ways that have been hazardous to the health of the most vulnerable - health affects of globalization will be same for both men and women but because of biological and social differences between males and females other issues will be sex or gender specific - poverty poses health threats to both men and women but many parts of the world women tend to be more poor than men and that individuals experience poverty in gendered ways that have both direct and indirect implications for their health -immediate effects of poverty on women are physical and psychological exhaustion as they struggle to meet their family and own needs in hostile environments increasing their vulnerability to a range of other health problems which may be cumulative. For example women's reproductive years place high demand on them while they may also be in short food supply which causes iron-deficiency anemia, increasing women's susceptibility to pregnancy related disorders as well as range of infectious disease - women also face violence and a number of studies has shown that violence for women is exacerbated under conditions of poverty and social conflicts. -globalization of production: changes in the ways goods and services are produced have varied between countries and communities however it has impacted women as they are increasing in waged work as well as their work being combined with childbearing in many parts of the world . Although wage work offers women material and social support it is because of their working conditions that has put their health in danger - women working in the home also face hazards in the course of their domestic labour like lug disease from pollution from cooking stoves and this is worse for women in areas where fuel wood is declining making them use other sources of energy increasing cooking time and pollution. In other areas women face like rural women have high exposure of pesticides both through their work in the fields and also because of storage of these chemicals inside or near the - the rolling back of regulatory regimes for the pursuit of economic growth may rest in the active promotion of unhealthy products to some of the world's neediest populations 3 Examples to show the various meanings of Neoliberalism: We will be taking the Multi-Sectoral Approach: by making connections between the market economy, labour, the environment, agricultural and other factors in relation to health (Petchesky, 2003) 1. (Mirchhandani, 2012) The Professional Clock: Work Schedules and Average Handling Times • Indian call centers are at the forefront of the confluence between geographical time and capitalist time given the time- sensitive nature of synchronous customer service work • workers work, eat and interact at times that exist in faraway geographies rather than according to the time rhythms of their local settings • capitalist exchange requires such a time disjuncture because labour costs drive organizational decisions about the location of work • Barbara Adam argues that transnational corporations export Western time across the globe. • They facilitate the "colonization with time" where time is a "quantifiable" resource that is open to manipulation, management and control and subject to commodification, allocation, use and abuse • this is enacted specifically in terms of frequent references to the need for Indians to learn Western approaches to 'time management" reminiscent colonial discourses of the "lazy native" • time management is clearly constructed as a "skill"; as one agent reports learned a lot.. time management was the best thing • professionalism in Indian call centers ironically translates into an intense scrutiny of workers time to ensure that agents learn time norms • these norms such as punctuality and time management are presented to agents as universally superior naturalized dimensions of Western work cultures • when wages are conceptualized as payment for a workers time, the use of time is linked to profit • this link between time and profit gives rise to work processes that focused on an intense control of workers schedules The timescape of Night Work • workers without household responsibilities many of whom are young or male primarily cite health related impacts of night work --> work at night sleep in the am would affect their health conditions • workers report that they hesitate to even mention their family responsibilities at work. Their family arrangements are scrutinized during the hiring process, and marriage and children are seen as a burden • call center workers who assume some responsibility for cooking, childcare or eldercare find night work extremely stressful • women in of schedule flexibility compromise their salaries. Others who have household responsibilities report relying on parents or employing domestic workers • Many respondents discussed the negative impact of their night work on their parent’s lives. None reported a significant shift in the gendered assignment of household responsibility • rather than considering a gendered sharing of household responsibility, men respond by expressing a desire for a stay at home wife to help out • despite women’s economic gains therefore the reliance on parents and domestic helper further entrenches the devaluation of work associated with social reproduction. • most workers were unable to balance work and family; those who were unmarried left household work to their parents and spent most of their free time sleeping due to the exhaustion associated with their night work • based on a field study of 277 customer services agents in six call centers, Babu Ramesh summarizes that the "social frame of patriarchy adds constraints that make it universal for women to continue in the work for long with odd working hours • the stress and strain at work led to situations where the female workers cannot carry on especially during pregnant ....that BPO work is also equally or more women unfriendly as compared to traditional manufacturing sector jobs • night work is gendered not only because of women’s primary responsibility for domestic work and childcare but also in light of social norms • Patel argue that women working at night are treated with suspicion because the urban nightscape is seen as male space where any women present re assumed to engaged in sex work • women working as call center agents continually negotiate mobility-morality norms in dealing with resistance to their work • . • while employers acknowledge that night work poses special challenges for female workers this recognition is addressed only through special surveillance to attempt to ensure women’s bodily safety rather than any responsibility for or recognition of household work • the transnational organization of production builds non responsibility into the structure of capitalist processes. The impact of work processes and structures on households and communities are seen a private, individual concerns for which organizations assume no responsibility • although appreciative of the service, workers also report tat the structure of pick ups and drop offs can add considerably to their work time --> a women reports the cancellation of her van service and its replacement with a shuttle bus. Rather than being picked up from her home, she is expected to go to a bus stop which is 10 minutes away in the middle of night , which is unsafe • there are also incidents of violence committed by cab drivers while transporting employees. Case study in 2008 a 22 yea
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