Not Just Women's Work: Relocating Gender in Studies of Labour Regulation
Osgoode Hall Law Journal Vol.39 No.4, 2001
13 Pages Posted: 29 May 2012 Last revised: 30 Oct 2013
Date Written: May 28, 2012
Over the past several decades, shifts in the structure and organization of the international economy and polity have taken place in conjunction with changes in the ways we explain and understand these arrangements. The working lives of men and women in Canada, as elsewhere, have been transformed as a consequence of these developments. Many scholars describe these changes in terms of a shift from Fordism to post-Fordism. Fordism encapsulates the relationship between a certain way of organizing production and a type of economic regulation. In developed countries like the United States and Canada, mass production and mass consumption balanced each other off as long as the Fordist compromise held. The “wage/gender bargain” of Fordism required that men worked full time for a “family wage”, while women worked at home for no pay, and were considered peripheral workers in the paid labour market. Feminist scholars never fully extended the security of benefits of the Fordist compromise to women. These days, however, the desirability of the Fordist compromise appears a somewhat moot question. The wage/gender bargain of Fordism clearly seems to have broken down in most sectors of advanced economies, while the issue of what will replace it is still unclear.
Keywords: women's work, gender, feminist, feminism, wage, gap, fordist, fordism, labour, economics
JEL Classification: J16, J31, K00, K31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation