Nov 11 - The Gender Contract .pdf
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Nov 11 - The Gender Contract (Term I paper Due)
Ch. 1 “A World Turned Upside Down, Working Class Lives in Hamilton” & ch. 2 “Families at
Work: The Dynamics of Paid Employment and Unpaid Domestic Work” in Luxton & Corman,
Getting By in Hard Times
-Class inequalities (7)
-Stelco Management hiring practices racist and sexist (10)
-Gendered division of labour (12)
-The ﬁrst chapter lays out the two thrusts of the theoretical framework.
-using the tool they call "deconstructing ordinary," the authors explore how the unstated
features of their respondents' lives - their whiteness, class location, and gender patterns -
provided those individuals with a sense of being in the cultural mainstream.
-drawing on the tradition of " theorizing social reproduction," the authors analyze how the
requirements of wage labour moulded!the domestic labour (in the broadest sense of term) of
their respondents' households.
-Chapter 2 describes women’s struggles to cope with the demands of unpaid domestic labour
within the constraints established by their husbands’ employment and their own paid jobs.
-socialist-feminist complaint that because women do most of the domestic labour, men are
relatively free from the obligations of domestic life and available to meet their employers’
expectations that they will make their paid jobs the focus of their lives.
-The following chapter describes in vivid detail, just what this “freedom” means for the men
employed at Hamilton Works (p.65):
-The physical location of the plant, in an industrial area away from residential
neighbourhoods, its massive size and industrial architecture
-— dozens of large interlocking buildings spread over a thousand acres
-— and its security
-— high fences and monitored gates, powerfully convey the message that Stelco as a
workplace is a separate world from the rest of the city.
-They demonstrate as well that this is a world which extracts the enormous costs of alienated
labour and physical hazards.
- a world offered the very real beneﬁts of union membership, good wages, and a workplace
culture that enshrined the values of masculinity. (Indeed, it was because of that workplace
culture that women steelworkers experienced ongoing sexual harassment in the plant.)
-Restructuring at Hilton Works eroded the underpinnings of this world as workers experienced
repeated layoffs, increased overtime, and job reclassiﬁcation. A forty-nine-year-old
steelworker commented on his profound sense of betrayal (p. 119):
-They’re making so much proﬁt that they’re taking money away from us, so that we can’t
spend it. Our washing machine broke down and ... I didn’t have the $600 to buy a new
washing machine. And I should have. For the length of time that I’ve been working at
Stelco, there’s no reason why I should be able to go out and say, “Hey, we’ve got to get
one.” I couldn’t do it. My wife had to take the clothes to the laundromat. We shouldn’t have
had to do that.
- do you think that the idea of a society where all members within it are upper class is a possibility?
-are we naturally restricted to falling into follow categories: lower class, working class, middle class, upper
middle class, upper class
-we need classes to prevent communism which doesn't work in practice
-people identiﬁed as working class in novel or blue collar
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