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ORGANISATIONS, WORK AND SEXUAL DIVISIONS: Occupational change in market economies and remaking gender? Janette Webb University of Edinburgh.

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Presentation on theme: "ORGANISATIONS, WORK AND SEXUAL DIVISIONS: Occupational change in market economies and remaking gender? Janette Webb University of Edinburgh."— Presentation transcript:

1 ORGANISATIONS, WORK AND SEXUAL DIVISIONS: Occupational change in market economies and remaking gender? Janette Webb University of Edinburgh

2 Framing Questions Interactions of markets and gendered power relations Are some forms of market economy more conducive to greater equality between the sexes? What drives what? –Cultural change in gender relations drives economic restructuring? –Economic restructuring, and occupational change, drives cultural change in gender relations?

3 Two Models from Feminist Political Economy Varieties of Capitalism (VOC) –Liberal market economies (LME) –Coordinated market economies (CME) –These result in different patterns of occupational sex segregation and inequality Post-Industrialism –Change as dominated by universal dynamics of post-industrial shift, which reinforce occupational sex segregation and gender essentialism

4 Varieties of Capitalism LMEs –Education and training for general skills –Deregulated, individualised labour markets –Short-term orientation to profitability –Social policy emphasis on individual responsibility CMEs –Education and training for organisation- and industry-specific skills –Coordinated/regulated labour markets –Long-term orientation to governance and profitability –Social policy emphasis on protection and pooling of risk

5 Feminist Analysis of VOC CMEs/ specific skills regimes –Expected to have higher levels of occupational sex- segregation LMEs/ general skills regimes –Expected to have less segregated occupations but higher income inequality Might speculate therefore that: –gender is a more prominent principle of social division in CMEs? –While class is more prominent in LMEs? Drivers of change perceived as primarily economic, overlaid on essentialised model of dualistic gender

6 Feminist Post-Industrialism Interaction of universalising economic forces of post-industrialism with universalistic gender dualism Effect is to reinforce occupational segregation Gender ideology, rather than economics, drives –horizontal segregation between manual (male) and non-manual (female) occupations –and pervasive vertical segregation within occupational hierarchies

7 Comments on the VOC and Post-Industrial Models Utility of models emphasising one or two macro-level concepts to explain complexity Limitations of labour market data over 15 years old when dealing with questions of economic restructuring Snap shot of occupational segregation at a single time Focus on occupational categories rather than incorporating industrial sector

8 Using Data from ILO Labour Market Stats Less discriminating occupational classification Problems of different cultural interpretations of the same occupational classifications But allows some longitudinal comparison And more recent data ( ) Crude occupational breakdown compensated for to some extent by ability to disaggregate occupation by industrial sector Descriptive statistics for concentration of men and women in occupations rather than index of segregation

9 Rationale for Selection of Countries Sweden and Japan as contrasting examples of CMEs USA and UK as contrasting examples of LMEs Likely to share common shift towards services Since 1985, all have increased proportion of economically active population

10 Total Economically Active,

11 Women as % of Workforce

12 Declining Employment in Extractive & Transformative Industries Growth in economically active population Alongside decline in proportion of employment in extractive and transformative industries Japan continues to have the highest proportion of employees in these sectors –now has only 31% in such employment –equivalent to the position of the USA twenty years earlier

13 % of Labour Force in Extractive & Transformative Industries

14 % of Women in Extractive & Transformative Industries

15 Labour Force in Extractive & Transformative Industries As proportion of employment declined, male- concentration increased Most noticeable in Japan - women were 35% of employees; now 28%

16 % of Labour Force in Services

17 % of Women in Services

18 Labour Force in Services Japan - men in the majority in services Sweden - post-industrial shift associated with less female concentration in 2005 than 1985 No simple relationship between post- industrialism and universal reinforcement of sexual divisions

19 Change in Occupational Structures Occupational upgrading? –Crude measure shows increasing proportion of workforce employed in managerial, admin, professional, technical and associated occupations in than in mid-1980s/1990s Combined with gradually decreasing proportion of employees in production jobs (including skilled craft and routine manual work)

20 Occupational structures,

21 Sweden, : occupation by male-female

22 USA, : occupation by male-female

23 UK, 1995 & 2005: occupation by male-female

24 Japan, : occupation by male-female

25 Differences in Occupational Concentrations of men and women - LMEs v CMEs?

26 Male-female split among occupations 2004/5

27 The Effect of Industrial Sector on Occupational Divisions Using only 2004/5 data Excludes Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing Groups Industrial Sectors into 3: –extractive and transformative –business and finance, real estate and retail services –public and welfare services Showing % of women in each occupation

28 Distribution of women in occupations by industry, Sweden, 2004

29 Distribution of women in occupations by industry, USA 2005

30 Distribution of women in occupations by industry, UK 2005

31 Distribution of women in occupations by industry, Japan 2005

32 Distribution of women in occupations

33 Occupation by Industry & VOC No simple relationship between LME policies and lesser concentrations of men and women in segregated occupations In the UK, barriers to the a-typical sex entering occupations do not seem to be lower than in Sweden Swedish social-democratic model more effective in facilitating movement of women into career occupations in industry and in private sector services

34 Continuity of dualistic gender ideologies? Evidence provides support for the argument that a dualistic, if not essentialist, gender ideology continues to underpin some universally sex-differentiated occupational patterns Not the case however that shift to services universally reinforces sex-segregated work Can conjecture that effects of shift to services differ according to interaction between –cultural, and historically located, processes of gendered power relations –political-economic strategies –equality policies –and the resulting organisation of occupations in different sectors in different countries

35 Evaluation of Models Strengths and limitations of a feminist model of VOC –Utility –But over- reliance on macro-structural concepts of skills and gender –Loss of insight into process –Need to integrate income data and inter-dependence of class with gender and ethnic divisions –Skills, and their formation and use, are not independent of power relations, and are in flux in knowledge economies Strengths and limitations of a feminist post-industrialism –Identifies the intransigence of dualistic gender –But a version of convergence theory?

36 What would a sociological model of the interactions of gender and markets look like? –A situated account of the remaking of gender in the context of new occupational relationships –Gender and markets as mutually constitutive –Organisational level is where inter-relations of markets and personal biographies are worked out: Occupational positions and skills are constituted And in their enactment produce the contested strata of class, gender and ethnicity Which in turn reshape occupations and skills

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