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Why is it hard to detect black women's ideals of womanhood in studies of black families? Why is men's sexuality so "driven," so defined in terms of power? Why is risking death said to represent the distinctively human act but giving birth regarded as merely natural? If we concede that men and women often view issues differently and have different experiences, it follows that we must consider a phenomenon in relation to the individuals who experience it.

Harding therefore further suggested that. Reflecting on how social phenomena get defined as problems in need of explanation in the first place quickly reveals that there is no such thing as a problem without a person or group of those who have this problem: a problem is always a problem for someone or other. Recognition of this fact and its implications for the structure of the scientific enterprise quickly brings feminist approaches to enquiring into conflict with traditional understandings in many ways. Feminists have challenged the view of women that has developed from male theorizing.

Hilary Rose explained the nature of the challenge:. Increasingly, the new scholarship drew on the concept of gender to illuminate a double process of a gendered science produced by a gendered knowledge production system. Was the seemingly taken for granted androcentricity, even misogyny, of science, a matter of "bias" which good unbiased science turned out by feminists and their allies would correct, or was the problem more profound, one that only an explicitly feminist science could displace, so as to become, in the language of the enlightenment, a "successor science"?

Once we undertake to use women's experience as a resource to generate scientific problems, hypotheses and evidence, to design research for women, and to place the researcher in the same critical plane as the research subject, traditional epistemological assumptions can no longer be made. These agendas have led feminist social scientists to ask questions about who can be a knower only men?

The aim of feminist theorizing is to deconstruct and redefine concepts previously defined from a male perspective and generally accepted as factual. The deconstruction and redefinition of concepts, as well as the creation of new ones, have emphasized the following:. Problems that, when solved, will benefit both researcher and subject;. Interaction between researcher and subject;. Establishment of nonhierarchical relationships;.

Expression of feelings and concern for values; and. The result is the generation of theories from a view of the world through feminist lenses. The aim has been to change conditions adversely affecting women's lives by critically analyzing existing theories and developing new policies and social action. Hilary Rose elaborated on this in her address entitled "Alternative Knowledge Systems in Science," an excerpt of which is set out in Box 2.

The problem for feminist materialists is to admit biology — that is, a constrained essentialism — while giving priority to the social, without concluding at the same time that human beings are infinitely malleable Largely ignored by the oppressors and their systems of knowledge, feminists at this point necessarily theorised from practice and referenced theory to practice The first is feminist stand-point theory which looks to the possibility of a feminist knowledge to produce better and truer pictures of reality; the second is feminist post-modernism which refuses the possibility of any universalising discourse but which argues instead for localised reliable feminist knowledges.

The pervasiveness of gendered thinking that uncritically assumes a necessary bond between being a woman and occupying certain social roles;. The ways women negotiate the world; and. The wisdom inherent in such negotiation. The social roles and the ways women negotiate the world also differ among women in diverse contexts cultural, social, political, racial or ethnic, religious, etc. Notice that it is "women's experiences" in the plural which provide the new resources for research.

This formulation stresses several ways in which the best feminist analyses differ from traditional ones. For one thing, once we realized that there is no universal man, but only culturally different men and women, then "Man's eternal companion 'woman'" also disappeared. That is, women come only in different classes, races, and cultures: there is no "woman" and no "woman's experience.

But so too, are class, race, and culture always categories within gender, since women's and men's experiences, desires, and interests differ according to class, race, and culture. This leads some theorists to propose that we should talk about our "feminisms" only in the plural, since there is no one set of feminist principles or understandings beyond the very, very general ones to which feminists in every race, class, and culture will assent. Why should we have expected it to be any different? There are very few principles or understandings to which sexists in every race, class, and culture will assent!

Not only do our gender experiences vary across the cultural categories; they also are often in conflict in any one individual's experience. My experiences as a mother and a professor are often contradictory. Women scientists often talk about the contradictions in identity between what they experience as women and scientists. Dorothy Smith writes of the "fault line" between women sociologists' experience as sociologists and as women. The hyphenated state of many self-chosen labels of identity — black feminist, socialist feminist, Asian-American feminist, lesbian feminist — reflects this challenge to the "identity politics" which has grounded Western thought and public life.

These fragmented identities are a rich source of feminist insight. In examining problems and carrying out analyses, feminists recognize that factors other than gender shape perceptions and understandings. Class, race, and culture are also powerful determinants and therefore create differences that must be taken into account. The category "women" is pluralistic, so treating women as a homogenous group results in a theorizing process no better than that of the traditional, androcentric approach.

To further accommodate these differences, feminist inquiry highlights the importance of placing the inquirer on the same "critical plane" as the subject of inquiry, with the aim of ensuring less bias and distortion. Researchers can then no longer hide behind the language of "objectivity"; they must situate themselves in their research. The excerpt from the work of Sandra Harding in Box 4 elaborates on this point.

This does not mean that the first half of a research report should engage in soul searching though a little soul searching by researchers now and then can't be all bad! Thus, the researcher appears to us not as an invisible, anonymous voice of authority, but as a real, historical individual with concrete, specific desires and interests. This requirement is no idle attempt to "do good" by the standards of imagined critics in classes, races, cultures or of a gender other than that of the researcher. Instead, it is a response to the recognition that the cultural beliefs and behaviours of feminist researchers shape the results of their analysis no less than do those of sexist and androcentric researchers.

We need to avoid the "objectivis" stance that attempts to make the researcher's cultural beliefs and practices invisible while simultaneously skewering the research objects, beliefs and practices to the display board. Only in this way can we hope to produce understandings and explanations which are free or, at least, more free of distortion from the unexamined beliefs and behaviors of social scientists themselves. Another way to put this point is that the beliefs and behaviors of the researcher are part of the empirical evidence for or against the claims advanced in the results of research.

This evidence too must be open to critical scrutiny no less than what is traditionally defined as relevant evidence. Introducing this "subjective" element into the analysis in fact increases the objectivity of the research and decreases the "objectivism" which hides this kind of evidence from the public. This kind of relationship between the researcher and the object of research is usually discussed under the heading of the "reflexivity of social science.

Feminists have proposed various theories to explain their experiences on the basis of differences in their class, race, and culture. Substantial discourse among feminists has focused on these various theories. The variety of approaches within feminist theory reflect, on the one hand, divergent perceptions, and on the other, different social and historical locations in which feminists exist. Basic concepts which are abstract and function as tools of analysis e. Intermediate level concepts such as patriarchy, mode of production, etc.

Historically specific analysis of a concrete social phenomenon e. Chhachhi had argued that at the first level of basic conceptual analysis that of basic concepts , little disagreement occurs between black and white feminists who share similar approaches. However, she noted that black-Third World feminists have encouraged an important sensitivity to the need for historically specific research at levels 2 and 3 those of intermediate-level concepts and historically specific analyses.

As Baksh-Soodeen remarked,. Let us examine how women from different social contexts might have divergent perceptions and explanations of the same phenomenon. In this activity, we consider the phenomenon of poverty — Why are people poor? State the assumptions you think the following women would have about this question:.

Based on the assumptions you have identified, what explanation would each women likely give for poverty? How do you account for these commonalities or differences? The differences in the explanations you identify are due to the fact that each of the individuals considered in the above exercise occupies a unique position, role, and status in society. These positions are usually unequal. Some women exercise greater authority and power than others.

As a result, their assumptions and interpretations are more valued than those of others with less authority and power. In your opinion, which of these four categories of women would have the most, the least power? Give reasons for your choice. Hilary Rose's comments in Box 5 illustrate how theoretical positions can also be used to exert power and influence over the lives of women. The recrudescence of biological determinism during the seventies was committed to the renaturalisation of women; to an insistence that, if not anatomy then evolution, X chromosomes, or hormones were destiny; and to the inevitability of patriarchy.

Such views fed upon the work of IQ advocates, whose views had become an important location for social and political struggle around issues of race and class. Within the U. Despite resistance by the Welfare Rights Movement, scientific racism helped justify cutting welfare benefits of poor — primarily black — women and their children, thus enabling more resources to be committed to the Vietnam War.

In Britain, IQ theory was extensively cited by the racist campaign for immigrant restriction and fed racist sentiment that genetic inferiority explained high levels of unemployment and thence excessive demands on the welfare system by black people. The critical counter attack mounted by anti-racists helped prevent the new scientific racism spreading unchallenged.

In the prevailing political climate, the relationship between biological determinists — especially in the guise of the new sociobiology — and the New Right was a love match. In Britain, a New Right government happily seized on biological determinism as a scientific prop to their plan to restore women to their natural place, which at that point was not in the labour market.

By the mid-eighties the view changed and part-time women's work became the ideal solution to achieve unpaid labour at home and cheap labour in employment. From then on we heard little about women's natural market place. No one put the government's view in the early s more succinctly than the Secretary of State for Social Service, Patrick Jenkins, in a television interview on working mothers: "Quite frankly, I don't think mothers have the same right to work as fathers. If the Lord had intended us to have equal rights, he wouldn't have created men and women. These are biological facts, young children do depend on their mothers.

While it was perhaps overkill to draw on both creationism and biology to make his point, in the political rhetoric of government ministers and other New Right ideologues, the old enthusiasm for biological determinism was given fresh vigour by the fashionable new sociobiology.

This at the height of the struggle of the feminist movement to bring women out of nature into culture, a host of greater or lesser socio-biologists, their media supporters and new Right politicians joined eagerly in the cultural and political effort to return them whence they came. Read the case study of women's work in the Philippines that follows Case Study 1 and then answer these questions:. What factual information about women's work in the Philippines can you extract from this case study? What principles about women's work in the Philippines emerge from these facts? Do these principles coincide with those obtaining in your own society?

Have the facts in the case study caused you to change your assumptions about women's work? Based on the data and your own experience, what explanation or theory would you develop of women's work? In the mids, Gelia Castillo noted that about 60 percent of the women in the rural areas of the Philippines were engaged in agriculture or related activities, such as fishing, an increase from the figure of In roughly two decades from to , the proportion of all Filipinos in agricultural and related activities decreased from about 59 to 55 percent, and the proportion of all women and girls over ten years old decreased slightly more from It is also possible that farm women were counted differently in the s, if, as may people contend, agricultural women are generally underenumerated, the s figures could reflect greater accuracy Castillo did not address this issue in her study.

Of these agricultural women, the vast majority are crop workers in rice and com farming, and the burden of the women's work is in non-mechanized tasks such as weeding and transplanting. These are activities that can be done in a relatively short span of time, so they are compatible with the major household duties for which the women are also responsible. The kind of work Filipinas do helps to explain why there are substantial seasonal variations in the agricultural employment of women.

Castillo notes, for instance, that the. A detailed study of time allocation in rural households in Laguna, a province of the Philippines, showed that mothers were less involved in agricultural activities than either fathers or children. On the average, the women in the sample spent slightly over one hour a day on pre-and post-harvest activities, vegetable production, livestock raising, and the like — men and children spent well over three hours a day on these same activities — but the 5 percent of the women in the sample who reported that their primary occupation was farming averaged about three and one-third hours a day on farming alone.

Overall, farming and non-farming women in this rural area spent an additional seven and one-half hours on household work or home production. As in most countries, rural women are among the most economically disadvantaged people in Filipino society. There are more unpaid family workers among women than among men, and almost 90 percent of all male unpaid workers in were in the rural areas and engaged in agricultural work. Despite this general condition, however, both rural and urban Filipinas are viewed by a number of scholars as having considerable status and power compared to women in other Asian countries, and Filipina influence extends to important decision-making roles in agricultural matters.

Justin Green, for example, noted that women are better educated than men, and he has also argued that women have a good deal of behind-the-scenes or privately exercised power. People who think that the traditional method of reckoning kinship and the prevalence of bride price or dowry are indicators of male-female status might note that historically, Filipinos have traced kinship through both parents and bride price has been common whereas dowry prevails in India.

For rural Filipino women, a practical consequence of this relative equity is that the sexual division of labor is not as rigid as in many societies. Women can handle a plow if necessary, and a husband will do the cooking if his wife is away or do the laundry if his wife has just delivered a child. The theorizing process both uses and produces knowledge. Androcentric theories generate knowledge that embodies the assumptions of these theories and ignores the experiences and perspectives of women. One of the tenets of feminist theorizing is that knowledge should be formulated from a broader base of experience.

Thus, a new, more comprehensive, more all-encompassing knowledge is built up through feminist theorizing. Such theorizing seeks to provide a more complete representation of women's realities. As Sandra Harding expressed it,. Knowledge is supposed to be based on experience, and the reason the feminist claims can turn out to be scientifically preferable is that they originate in, and are tested against, a more complete and less distorting kind of social experience. Women's experiences, informed by feminist theory, provide a potential grounding for more complete and less distorted knowledge claims than do men's.

Harding's analysis represents a feminist-standpoint theoretical approach. Like others, feminist-standpoint theorists have their own assumptions. They assume there is an objective reality that can be made better if women's experiences and knowledges are added to mainstream or androcentric epistemologies.

Postmodernist-feminist theorizing supports the investigation of women's experiences and knowledges as a basis for creating new feminist-informed knowledges. This approach differs from feminist-standpoint theorizing in several ways. Postmodernist-feminist theorists do not assume there is a complete, coherent reality to which women's experiences can be added; rather, they assume there are multiple realities and experiences.

Postmodernist-feminist theorists see these experiences and their influence on the generation of knowledge as fluid, contingent, diverse, and historically and culturally specific. They do not argue that feminist claims are scientifically preferable, as they are more sceptical about the faith placed in rationality, objectivity, and science. However, they support the position that knowledge claims should be formulated from a broader base of experience and should recognize that women's experiences will differ across race, class, culture, and sexual orientation.

Thus, there are diverse feminist theoretical approaches. Although they converge on the core issue of women's subordination, they differ in their assumptions about the causes or sources of that subordination. These differences reflect the richness of women's lives and the need to integrate the experiences and knowledges of women in the South, as well as all women in the North, if we are to move toward a more inclusive, sensitive theorizing about both women's subordination and their power.

Hilary Rose's remarks in Box 6 illustrate some of the new thinking of feminists in the South and North. Staying Alive by Vandana Shiva is a marvellous example of the ways that feminists relate to theory, using it as a resource in the defence of both women and nature. First the book is written from within a struggle of the Chipko women to defend the trees on which their lives depend. While without the mass movement there would be no story, it is also a story in which her skills as a scientist are integral. Her account of the struggle is a story of transformation She makes solid technical arguments about what is happening to the land and the water.

Her training as a physicist — part of that universalistic highly abstract discourse so criticised by feminism — is both a crucial element within, and transformed by the struggle. She reports different ways of collecting data, organising in fresh ways, producing a holistic ecological knowledge specific to the locality and people.

This careful rethinking of the environmental endemic generates a highly "situated and embodied knowledge" with strong claims to objectivity, out of the "universalistic and disembodied knowledge" of the physicist. Nor are the activities she reports limited to new knowledge building, for she also describes and endorses essential myth making which historically has often given energy to social movements of the excluded but which unquestionably often makes their intellectual allies uneasy.

Whereas Western feminists have mostly fought the notion that women are naturally nearer to nature, seeing that as a patriarchal cage, Shiva casts Indian peasant women and the myths they construct cast themselves in the role of the natural protectors of the forest. Essentialism is used as a source of strength. It is a dangerous move yet the situation is already a matter of staying alive. But the point I want to make is the extra-ordinarily divergent strands which Shiva weaves together. Nothing that can be made useful within a struggle is disregarded, she takes very different discourses and radically recycles them, adapting them with strength and imagination to political purposes.

In Shiva I think we get something of a reply from a feminist scientist to Audre Lorde's question, can the master's tools be used to dismantle the master's house?

Edited by Georgina Waylen, Karen Celis, Johanna Kantola, and S. Laurel Weldon

I think the reply goes something like this, providing we are prepared to select, to adapt, to use for hitherto unimagined purposes and weave them in with the entirely new, then yes, we can use the master's tools. But in the process it is crucial to understand that the tools are themselves transformed.

As well as tearing down the master's house, that crucial preliminary act, a feminist science also begins to build anew, to construct a feminist science. This more comprehensive knowledge base enables a wide cross section of experiences and measures to inform policy and action. Chapter 4 will examine existing policies and those being developed, to illustrate how they reflect and satisfy the needs of women.

This chapter discusses theorizing as a process used to test assumptions about a number of phenomena in order to generate principles and theories to explain these phenomena. This chapter also points out that traditionally this process has been male centred and related to the cultures, nationalities, and dominant economic classes of the theorists, who did not take into account the perspectives and experiences of women or the problems and issues that affect women.

Until feminist theorists began critiquing existing knowledges, these theories were used to produce programs and policies that adversely affected the lives of women. The readings highlight the feminist challenges to the traditional, androcentric approach to theorizing and discuss some of the characteristics of feminist approaches.

These approaches not only take into account differences in experiences of women and men but also recognize that women themselves do not constitute a homogenous group. Using these approaches, feminists have deconstructed androcentric theories and knowledge and produced a comprehensive view of women's multiple realities.

The knowledges they have generated provide a basis for critiquing existing policies and determining alternative policies and activities to address the problems affecting women. Recognizing that factors such as class, race, ethnicity, age, social status, and sexual orientation shape perceptions and experience points to the social character of gender and gender relations. In the next chapter, you will examine a number of theories on gender and development that have evolved from a process of both women's and men's theorizing in different contexts and situations.

Baksh-Soodeen, R. Is there an international feminism? Alternative Approach 24 Summer , Charlton, S. Women in Third World development. Chhachhi, A. Concepts in feminist theory: consensus and controversy. In Mohammed, P. Harding, S. Conclusion: epistemological questions. In Harding, S. Introduction: Is there a feminist method? Ornstein, A.

Curriculum — foundations, principles and issues. Rose, H. Alternative knowledge systems in science: can feminism rebuild the sciences? In Bailey, B. Stanley, L. Breaking out: feminist consciousness and feminist research. Whose science? Whose knowledge? Talking back — thinking feminism, thinking black.

Seibold, C. Feminist method and qualitative research about mid-life. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 19, This chapter introduces the concepts of gender and development and the factors that gave rise to their emergence. It also provides an explanation of the precolonial experience of so-called Third World people, especially with respect to gender relations and the experiences of women and men in social, political, and economic life. The discussion challenges simplistic characterizations and generalizations of precolonial societies and points to their rich diversity and difference.

This chapter provides a framework for considering alternative ways of perceiving human social and cultural development and organizing social, economic, and political life. It also provides information that challenges traditional monolithic assumptions about women and the sexual division of labour. To explore the evolution of the concepts of gender and development and to critically examine their underlying assumptions;.

To recognize the diversity of human experience and the alternative measures of value and standards for the assessment of progress and human achievement; and. To provide a general historical understanding of the lives of Third World people before the institutionalization of development. In ordinary usage, development a noun derived from the verb develop implies movement from one level to another, usually with some increase in size, number, or quality of some sort.

In the Penguin English Dictionary, the verb develop means "to unfold, bring out latent powers of; expand; strengthen; spread; grow; evolve; become more mature; show by degrees; explain more fully; elaborate; exploit the potentialities of a site by building, mining, etc. For our purposes, these meanings of development apply to human societies.

The usage of the word in this context was popularized in the post-World War n period to describe the process through which countries and societies outside North America and Europe many of them former colonial territories were to be transformed into modern, developed nations from what their colonizers saw as backward, primitive, underdeveloped societies see Box 1.

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Colonialism refers in general to the extension of the power of a state through the acquisition, usually by conquest, of other territories; the subjugation of the inhabitants to a rule imposed by force; and the financial and economic exploitation of the inhabitants to the advantage of the colonial power. Characteristic of this form was the maintenance of a sharp and fundamental distinction often expressed in law as well as in fact between the ruling nation and the subordinate colonial populations.

This led to entrenched forms of racism. In the modern period, that is, since , colonial powers initially included the Dutch, English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish. Later, other European states also became involved, such as the Belgians and Germans. In the 20th century, the United States, too, became a colonial power. It is necessary to differentiate between settler colonialism and nonsettler colonialism. In the case of the United Kingdom, for example, special status of dominion or protectorate was given to settler colonies, such as Australia, Canada, the Irish Free States, Newfoundland, New Zealand, Southern Rhodesia, and the Union of South Africa, which had large communities of European migrants.

They were usually self-governing territories of the British empire. Protectorate was used to refer to territories governed by a colonial power although not formally annexed by it. In these areas also, including the United States, internal colonialism is often used to describe the relationship between the settlers and the native or indigenous people and minorities.

Although other forms of domination and hegemony have existed in human history, this chapter concentrates on the specific form of European colonization and colonial domination that has taken place since the 16th century. Today, this grouping includes former colonial, largely but not totally tropical, countries, peopled mainly by non-Europeans. It is usually referred to as the Third World, underdeveloped countries, developing countries, and, more recently, the South or the economic South.

Although it would be helpful to have one term to designate all of these countries, none of the above terms is really adequate. All are based on assumptions that we should be aware of when we use them. They are an improvement, however, on the terms first used in development writing, such as backward or economically backward countries. It is important to note that before European colonial domination, many societies had already felt the impact of other dominating forces.

For example, in North Africa the spread of the Islamic influence wrought great changes in the lifestyle of the native people — so much so that, now, some people hardly have any memory of a pre-Islamic past. In India, the spread of Hinduism over the continent had a similar, although more varied, impact. In some instances, the colonizers entered countries already controlled by well-established, stratified, patriarchal structures and introduced yet another controlling force into women's lives.

In this chapter, I briefly explore each of these concepts and the contexts within which they arose. The concept of underdeveloped-developing countries emerged as part of the work of early development economists in the s, who theorized very simplistically about the stages of development mat societies had to pass through to become "developed," or "modern. In addition, the history of Western industrialized countries was used as a broad model for the process through which all societies were to pass. Around the s, with nationalist sentiments becoming vocal, the term less developed was added, as it was considered less pejorative than underdeveloped.

This approach is sometimes critically referred to as developmentalism. Not much later, a school of mainly sociologists and political scientists emerged. They were eventually referred to as modernization theorists because they described this process as one of becoming modem. They, too, developed a triad:.

Modernity may be understood as the common behaviourial system historically associated with the urban, industrial, literate, and participant societies of Western Europe and North America. The system is characterised by a rational and scientific world view, growth and ever-increasing application of science and technology, together with continuous adaptation of the institutions of society to the imperatives of the new world view and the emerging technological ethos.

One of the main features common to these two approaches is that they equated development or modernity with industrialization. Industrialization and its companion, urbanization the emergence of towns and cities , were considered the only ways for backward societies to become modern, or developed. Progress and advancement were also seen in this light.

There was little appreciation of the social, cultural, economic, or political attributes of non-Western societies. Indeed, these approaches accepted to a large degree the colonial feeling of superiority over indigenous peoples, many of whom were decimated, robbed of their land, or confined to reservations or territories for example, in Australia, Canada, and the United States , or marginalized and forced to flee into the mountains for example, in parts of Asia and most of South and Central America see Box 2.

Thus are economies based on indigenous technologies viewed as "backward" and "un-productive. On the contrary, the destruction of ecologically sound traditional technologies, often created and used by women, along with the destruction of their material base is generally believed to be responsible for the "feminisation" of poverty in societies which have had to bear the costs of resource destruction. These approaches also had little to say about women. Women were largely linked to the traditional and backward aspects of these societies and most resistant to change.

Because the theorists used traditional in such a general sense, with little recourse to history or social anthropology, they little realized the diversity in women and men's relations, in modes of domestic and family organization, or in social, economic, and political life. It emerged with the heightened anticolonial consciousness that arose with the coming of the new nation-states in Africa and Asia. This was also a time when the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union-Eastern Europe was dividing the world along ideological and geopolitical lines.

They adopted the position of nonalignment with either camp, arguing the need for a third, alternative world grouping. The term Third World was adopted by many of these countries to differentiate themselves from the First World the North Atlantic capitalist world, or the world of advanced market economies and the Second World the centrally planned economies of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.

The Third World consisted of all other nations — usually in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, the Pacific, and South and Central America, including the centrally planned economies in these areas. One of the main criticisms of the concept of the Third World has been that it suggests a hierarchy of nations. Some people argue that to accept third place is to accept a lower status in the world order. The people who coined the phrase probably never considered this but simply saw Third World as an alternative to the two main options their countries were being pushed to accept, options that, as history would show, they would eventually agree to.

North-South became a popular term around , after the publication of the report of the Independent Commission on International Development Issues, popularly known as the Brandt Commission because it was led by the late Willy Brandt, former Chancellor of West Germany see Brandt According to one source,. The expression was selected by the Commission to emphasize the economic divide between the North rich nations and the South poor nations and to highlight the presumed desirability of a North-South dialogue grounded in a common concern for global problems and freed from the complications of East-West political interests.

This division, like many associated with relations of power, is geographically incorrect. Some countries in the South are neither low income nor not former colonial countries; likewise, some economies and conditions of life in the North, such as can be found in Eastern and Southern Europe, have little in common with the leading industrialized capitalist economies of the North.

For some, this terminology reflects global restructuring and the changes taking place in the global economy. Economic South was a term coined to further delineate this grouping in economic and political terms, rather than in purely geographic ones. The heyday of developmentalism — in the s, s, and s — fostered some strong beliefs, such as.

That state or government should play the central determining role in introducing development policies and strategies that could lead to improved standards of living and conditions of life; and. That international investment, loans, and aid can redirect economies away from their traditional bases — usually in agriculture — toward industry and manufacture.

Today, although much of this sentiment has changed, much has remained the same. The dominant thinking in the late s and early s has been that the state has a leading, but only facilitating, role in the economy. Development is now seen as the responsibility of private companies and, increasingly, private nongovernmental organizations NGOs. In addition, the market is seen as the main arbiter of decision-making. Franceschet, Susan, and Jennifer M. Franceschet, Susan, and Thomas Gwynn. Fraser, Nancy. Feminism, capitalism and the cunning of history.

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London, UK: Zed Books. Family and gender in the Pacific: Domestic contradictions and the colonial impact. Kantola, Johanna. Feminists theorize the state. Gender and the European Union. Kaplan, Gisela. Contemporary Western European feminism. Katzenstein, Mary, and Carol Mueller Eds. Kittilson, Miki Caul. Institutionalizing intersectionality: The changing nature of European equality regimes. Krook, Mona L. Quotas for women in politics: Gender and candidate selection reform worldwide. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Yuval-Davis, Nira. Gender and nation. Zerilli, Linda. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice. The disconnect between wage and productivity growth means that the majority of workers have reaped few of the economic rewards they helped to produce over the last 36 years because most of the benefits have gone to those at the very top of the wage scale.

While this experience has not been limited to any single group of workers, African Americans have been disproportionately affected by the growing gap between pay and productivity. Figure A shows that since median hourly real wage growth has fallen short of productivity growth for all groups of workers, regardless of race or gender. At the same time, wages for African American men and women have grown more slowly than those of their white counterparts.

As a result, pay disparities by race and ethnicity have remained unchanged or have expanded. Table 1 further demonstrates the intersection of class and racial inequality, presenting trends in real wages and wage growth at the 10th, 50th, and 95th percentiles, as well as at the mean, of the wage distribution by race.

We present these data for the business cycle peak years of , , , and , as well as for the point during the s business cycle after which wages grew dramatically and for the last year for which data are available. One of the reasons that the average black-white wage gap has continued to expand is the fact that very few African Americans earn wages that place them among the top 5 percent of all wage earners, where most growth has been concentrated. Only 3 percent of all chief executives are African American, and a disproportionate number of them are employed in the public or private nonprofit sectors, where salaries are lower and more likely to be capped than they are in the private for-profit sector.

At the 50th percentile median , blacks earn In addition to these racial differences in pay, Table 1 also makes clear that, over the last 36 years, strong wage growth has eluded most workers, regardless of race, and, to the extent that wages have grown at all, most of the growth happened in a single episode between and In almost every economic cycle preceding and following the late s boom, wage growth of black and white low- to middle-wage earners was either flat or negative.

Between and , wages declined 8.


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At the median, the wages of blacks grew a meager 1. This compares with growth of These patterns suggest that addressing the problems of stagnant wages and racial wage inequality has now become a dual imperative. While wage inequality is largely understood as a class issue, it is also important to understand how the stagnation of wages for the vast majority of all workers has contributed to measured racial wage inequality.

At the same time, any effort to fully remedy racial wage gaps in a way that boosts wages and improves living standards for African American families must end the decades of broad-based wage stagnation that has had the most damaging effects on African American workers. This report focuses on trends in black-white wage gaps since , including an analysis of the role that growing overall wage inequality has played. The literature on estimating and explaining black-white wage inequality has two distinct focuses.

Rodgers However, we will show otherwise. This debate raged for several years, but seems to have quieted down. This study revisits the trend analysis that dominated the literature from the s through the s, and we update and extend previous studies by examining what has happened to the black-white wage gap since the late s. Our analysis affirms that the black-white wage gap among men expanded during the s and narrowed significantly during the s. Our contribution is a detailed assessment of what has been the pattern or trend for men since the late s and women since the late s. For the latter period, some assert that higher black incarceration rates disproportionally pulled the less skilled out of the labor force, thus truncating the wage distribution at the low end and raising the average wage Neal and Rick Although much has happened in the macroeconomy e.

Trends in educational attainment yield mixed messages as to the impact on the wage gap. Since , college completion rates by black and white men have increased by 4. For black and white women, the increases were 7. However, the trends in high school completion suggest that educational attainment will contribute to a slight narrowing in the overall wage gap and a narrowing in the wage gap among high school graduate blacks and whites. The percentage of white men with at least a high school diploma has increased by 4. Patterns in imprisonment might put pressure on the wage gaps among the young and less educated to narrow, or at best remain the same.

According to the U. Department of Justice, although the ratio of the imprisonment rate of white men and black men sat at 5. The ratios among white women and black women fell from 6. For both, much of the drop was from to because the white imprisonment rate rose while the African American imprisonment rate fell.

Because the ratio remains so large, imprisonment and its labor market scarring effects will definitely contribute to wage gaps in a given year, but their pattern over time since should assist in narrowing the wage gap. Changes in the macroeconomy will surely have an impact on the wage gaps since The U. Economic growth returned but it was not sustainable.

From to , the jobless rate was slow to fall, wages continued to stagnate, and household debt expanded to record levels. After the Great Recession of — job growth, instead of rebounding quickly as it did after the s recession, took over 40 months to reemerge. Since February , the economy has grown and private-sector job creation has spanned over 78 months. As of July , the unemployment rate had fallen to 4. Further, the labor force participation rate of prime-age adults has not returned to pre-recession levels. Unionization has historically provided a wage advantage to black workers, since union members receive higher wages than otherwise similar non-union workers and union membership rates are highest among black workers.

Bound and Freeman documented the effect of declining unionization on wage losses among black men during the s. Since then, the share of workers with union representation has continued to decline, falling 11 percentage points among blacks and 8 percentage points among whites between and Historically, the relationship between macroeconomic growth and black-white inequality has been such that, as the economy expands, black-white inequality typically narrows, and, when the economy worsens, inequality expands.

However, given the generally slower economic growth that has been the norm since , what have been the patterns of black-white earnings inequality during the recovery of —, the Great Recession of —, and now the current recovery? We suspect that, after tremendous gains during the s, since racial inequality has followed general patterns of inequality—either stagnated or expanded, but not in a dramatic style as during the s.

Collectively, tepid and unsustainable economic growth, plus the Great Recession, have led to expansion in the black-white wage gap. We estimate log hourly wage gaps between black and white workers, adjusted for years of potential experience, education, region of residence, and metro status. The specification for the variables used to estimate adjusted wage gaps comes from Bound and Freeman Years of potential experience are measured as age minus years of schooling minus six.

Dummy variables for each of the nine Census divisions and the metropolitan statistical area indicator are used to control for region of residence and metro status. Much of the work on racial inequality has focused on the new-entrant wage gap because this demographic is most sensitive to macroeconomic and structural change. We divide the sample of workers into two experience categories—new entrants and more experienced workers—and perform a separate analysis for each group.

We examine the more experienced workers because they were new entrants during the s when the wage gap began expanding. Doing this allows us to see whether early labor market disadvantages persist over time. Experienced workers are those with 11 to 20 years of potential experience. High school graduates in this experience category are between the ages of 29 and Figure B plots the trend in log hourly wage gaps the percentage disadvantage between black and white workers by gender since The graph includes four series, an adjusted and unadjusted series each for men and women.

The unadjusted wage gaps are simply the average differences reported in the survey, while the adjusted series present wage gaps among full-time workers after controlling for racial differences in education, potential experience, region of residence, and metro status. Note: The adjusted wage gaps are for full-time workers and control for racial difference in education, potential experience, region of residence, and metro status. Looking first at the unadjusted series, we see the familiar pattern of expansion of black-white wage gaps during the s.

For men, this expansion occurred primarily in the first half of that decade, when unemployment was high and union density and the number of manufacturing jobs, especially in the Midwest, were drastically declining. For women, the expansion in the unadjusted black-white wage gap that began in the s continued through the mids. This is notable because, with an average hourly wage gap of 6 percent, black women were near parity with white women in By , this gap had grown to 8 percent, then nearly doubled to 15 percent by While the adjusted and unadjusted series follow similar patterns, the adjusted estimates provide additional information that helps us to better understand these wage gaps.

For example, part of the reason for the difference in average pay between white and black workers is that the composition of workers in each group is not the same. The difference between the adjusted and unadjusted series in Figure B shows how much of the average racial differences in pay among full-time workers only can be explained by racial differences in education, potential experience, region of the country, and metro status.

How Race and Gender Reinforce Economic Inequality

For men, these differences reduce the estimated gap by roughly the same amount 5 to 8 percentage points throughout most of the period we observe. For women, however, these characteristics go from having a very negligible effect on the gap in 1. These results suggest that, while the impact of workforce composition on average black-white wage gaps among men has been fairly constant over time, the impact among women has increased as the characteristics of black and white working women have grown more distinct.

An important thing to note here is that these adjusted series do not account for workforce composition factors such as racial and gender differences in incarceration. The adjusted estimates also help us to more clearly identify periods of wage convergence that are less obvious from observing trends in the average unadjusted gaps. The adjusted series for men and women in Figure B both show a brief period of progress toward racial pay equity between and During this period, the adjusted black-white wage gap falls from 23 percent to 20 percent among men and from 10 percent to 7 percent among women.

During the late s, macroeconomic growth was sustained and broad-based, and public policy became more favorable for reducing racial wage inequality. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics unemployment rate fell and remained below 5. Also, the number of states that set their minimum wage in excess of the federal minimum wage increased. The convergence of the wage gap during this period ended with the start of the short and shallow recession of Figure B also shows that racial differences in pay are smaller among women than among men, regardless of whether the estimates are adjusted or unadjusted.

However, we have to be careful in how we interpret this finding. It does not mean black women face fewer challenges in the labor market than black men. It just means that potentially more of the disadvantage is associated with gender differences in pay e. Figure C shows adjusted hourly wage gaps for white and black women and black men relative to white men. Since black women were near parity with white women in , their wage gap relative to white men was comparable.

In , for instance, white women were at a Black women earned The gender wage gap narrowed considerably during the s and early s, resulting by in a gap of These adjusted gender wage gaps have remained virtually unchanged since the s, so the economic boom did not narrow gender wage disparities in the same way that it narrowed racial wage gaps. Davis and Gould estimate that 40 percent of the narrowing of the gender wage gap between and was due to falling wages for men. Note: The adjusted wage gaps are for full-time workers and control for racial differences in education, potential experience, region of residence, and metro status.

Just as there are clear differences in the racial wage gaps by gender, young men and women face different wage gaps than older men and women. This pattern suggests that wage gaps grow larger as black men pursue their work lives. The new-entrant wage gap starts at On the other hand, more experienced black men start with a larger disadvantage of While the s boom helped to reverse the relative wage deterioration of black men that occurred in the s, those gaps have since reemerged.

Note: Experienced workers have 11 to 20 years of experience. New entrants have 0 to 10 years of experience. Gaps are of adjusted average hourly wages. Comparable trends among women are shown in Figure E. New-entrant women start with a black-white wage gap of 3. On the other hand, more experienced black women start at a 1. Similar to new-entrant men, the progress among new-entrant women between and reversed much of the damage of the s, but since those gains have been erased.

This sorting allows us to see whether the deterioration in the wages of black men and women was uniform across educational attainment and experience levels, or was concentrated among particular groups. We plot these estimates as three-year moving averages in order to smooth out some of the volatility that results from cutting the data into smaller subsamples. While this process produces graphs that start at and end in indicating the middle year of the three-year moving average , the trends revealed would essentially be the same if our graphs began at and ended in allowing us to fold the educational analysis in our broader discussion of the trend over the last three and a half decades.

About the author

Figures F and G plot the estimates for new-entrant and experienced men, respectively. Rodgers documented this growth of the racial wage gap among the most educated workers, but few researchers and policymakers have paid attention to this finding that black male college graduates started the s with less than a 10 percent disadvantage relative to white male college graduates and end with almost a 20 percent deficit in Among more experienced black and white men, sizeable gaps existed at all levels of education in , as shown in Figure G.

While gaps among high school graduates changed little over the next three and a half decades, estimates among older college-educated men are more volatile, making it difficult to draw any clear conclusions. Among more experienced black and white women Figure I , wage gaps were nearly nonexistent in or, in the case of college graduates, actually favored black women—also in sharp contrast to the large disparities among more experienced college-educated black men.

This initial look at the general trends and patterns in racial wage gaps raises some key points that help to guide the remainder of our analysis. While black-white wage gaps for men and women are notably larger in than they were in , this increase has not been consistent across time periods. Rather, there are three distinct periods of change: the s, the s, and post Most of the expansion of racial wage gaps occurred during the s for men and during the s through the mids for women. During the late s, racial wage gaps narrowed.

While this reversal helped to make up for much of the expansion of new-entrant gaps that occurred during the s and early s, it was less successful at reversing the trend among more experienced workers and college graduates. This is surprising given the relative strength of the s boom, which suggests that, for more experienced workers, forces during the s were more powerful than during the best economy since World War II.

Over the last decade and a half, average black-white wage gaps among men and women have widened only slightly, even in the years surrounding the Great Recession. The exception to this pattern has been among new-entrant women, for whom racial wage gaps have grown more between and than in any other period included in our analysis.

Our trend analysis will precisely inform us as to the relative sizes of the erosion, improvement, and erosion again of black wages relative to those of whites over the distinct periods of change we have identified. Comparison of unadjusted and adjusted estimates reveals that racial differences in education, experience, region of residence, and metro status help to explain some of the average differences in pay between blacks and whites.

For men, these differences have accounted for a fairly consistent amount of the gap, but for women these differences are responsible for more of the gap today than in Over the year period we examine, changes in adjusted black-white wage gaps also vary by potential experience and by education. Next we analyze the dynamics behind these changes and assign broad reasons for the overall patterns of change by gender and potential experience, as well as identify the interaction of potential experience with educational attainment and region of residence.

This disaggregation is extremely important because it will further demonstrate the fact that there is no monolithic black experience. Economists have developed a useful tool for illustrating and describing the dynamics of how the black-white wage gap changes over time. Such unmeasured characteristics can include racial wage discrimination, racial differences in unobserved or unmeasured skills, or racial differences in labor force attachment of less-skilled men due to incarceration. Juhn, Murphy, and Pierce offer a wage decomposition technique that allows us to decompose observable as well as unobservable attributes.

The decomposition of unobservable attributes is based on the white residual wage distribution—the part of the white wage distribution that cannot be explained by observable factors—but it can be interpreted in a way that is analogous to the decomposition of observed attributes. Under this framework, quantities of unobserved attributes are represented as the percentile ranking of blacks in the white residual wage distribution.

Prices of unobserved attributes are represented by white wage inequality as indicated by the variance of the white residual wage distribution. To remain consistent with prior studies by Juhn, Murphy, and Pierce and W. Rodgers , the decompositions are performed for people who are at least 18 years old, employed in full-time jobs, and have 20 years of experience or less. We first discuss changes in the wage gap in terms of changes in observable versus unobservable attributes.

In other words, how much of the increase in the black-white wage gap can be explained by factors such as changes in education levels of black workers, and how much of the increase is due to things that are difficult to measure, such as racial discrimination or the lack of particular skills. Figure J presents the top-line results of our decomposition by experience category and gender for the entire year period from to The full length of each bar represents the total percent change in the black-white wage gap.

Positive numbers indicate expansion of the gap while negative numbers indicate a narrowing gap. Therefore, the estimated changes in the wage gap between two points in time will not be the same as those estimated by comparing two points along the line graphs illustrating wage gap trends.

Race, Gender and Economy

A detailed description of the methodology used in our analysis is included in the appendix. Change in gaps are of adjusted average hourly wages. Labels on top of bars indicate net change in the black-white wage gap. Total unobservables include factors such as racial discrimination, unobservable skills, and wage inequality.

Total observables include education, experience, region of residence, and metro status. Figure J shows that the largest expansion of the wage gap since has occurred among African American women. This is especially troubling because black women also experience lower earnings associated with gender. The black-white wage gap for new-entrant women has grown Over this same period, the wage gap among more experienced women has grown For new-entrant women, growing racial gaps in observables—education, experience, region, and metro status—account for most of the expansion.

We provide a more detailed discussion of how each of these components has affected wage gap trends in a later section, but first we describe these top-line decomposition patterns by educational attainment and over distinct periods of time. These graphs show that some of the largest erosions of wages relative to whites are among blacks with the highest levels of educational attainment. Even worse, when we include African American men and women with advanced degrees i. New-entrant college-educated African American women are the exception to this pattern. Experienced workers have 11 to 20 years of experience.

Compared with college graduates, high school graduates generally experienced slower growth experienced men or narrowing in their gaps new-entrant men and women. The exception was experienced black women with only a high school diploma, whose wages deteriorated 8.

If they do get employed, they are paid at lower rates. This disproportionate exit from the labor force and larger wage penalties improves the relative skill composition of less-educated blacks in the labor force Holzer ; Neal and Rick This sample selection truncates the black wage distribution from below, thus raising the average wage of African Americans. If this occurred, it would explain why the new-entrant high school wage gaps did not expand. Solely focusing on the trend covering the period from to neglects describing or glosses over three distinct periods of change: the s, the s, and the period since We use as the dividing line for the post years because it is the peak of the last business cycle, separating the years leading up to and following the Great Recession.

Comparing Figures M through P, we see that, regardless of demographic characteristics e. This suggests an important conclusion: that rising unemployment, like we saw during the early s, increases the black-white wage gap while falling unemployment, like we saw during the late s, shrinks it.

While economic growth and unemployment improved during the second half of the s, the effect on black-white wage gaps was limited by the fact that policies like failure to raise the minimum wage and lax enforcement of anti-discrimination laws were less conducive to closing these gaps. In each period, new-entrant blacks faced the greatest fluctuations or swings in their relative earnings.

This is to be expected, as they have the least skills and experience that typically insulate an individual from changes in the macroeconomy. Unobservable factors contributed to more of the change among new entrants in both of these periods, while observable factors explain more of the growing gaps among experienced workers. Between and , black-white wage gaps quietly trended upward, but, after , the patterns are much less discernable such that a consistent explanation emerges.

We now describe our decomposition results in greater detail. Table 2 presents these results for new entrants by gender and educational attainment for each of the subperiods as well as the entire year period from to The first row in Table 2 presents the total percent change in the wage gap over each period of time. The rows labeled total observable and total unobservable sum to the total percent change in the wage gap. Under each of these rows, the respective quantity and price contributions sum to the total observable and total unobservable components.

The observable attributes are further disaggregated into contributions from each characteristic that sum to their respective quantity and price totals.