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Life without Father and Ford: The New Gender Order of Post-Fordism

Linda McDowell
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers
Vol. 16, No. 4 (1991), pp. 400-419
DOI: 10.2307/623027
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/623027
Page Count: 20
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Life without Father and Ford: The New Gender Order of Post-Fordism
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Abstract

The coincidence of a set of economic changes in new industrial areas in advanced capitalist societies has initiated a tremendous debate about the features of post-Fordism, flexible accumulation and new industrial spaces. While the distinguishing features of the new production methods and the new industrial geography are widely debated, far less attention has been paid to gender divisions. This paper examines the assumptions made about gender relations in variants of restructuring theory, draws out the similarities and differences between these and socialist-feminist theory and argues that both sets of theories rely on a particular view about the relationship between the spheres of production and reproduction. Despite the assumed marginality of women's labour in conventional approaches to restructuring and its centrality in the work influenced by feminist theory, it is argued here that both perspectives misconstrue current changes. A new gender order is emerging with post-Fordism.

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