Gender Inequalities in Production and Reproduction
Edited by Jacqueline Scott, Shirley Dex and Anke C. Plagnol
Introduction: Gender Inequalities in Production and Reproduction
Jacqueline Scott, Shirley Dex, Heather Joshi and Anke C. Plagnol How are gendered lives changing? This book examines not only how gender inequalities in contemporary societies are changing, but also how further change towards greater gender equality might be achieved. We focus on inequalities in productive and reproductive activities, as played out over time and in specific contexts. We examine how lives and structures are changing and how policy can intervene to promote further advances towards greater equality. We explore why changes in gender inequalities are so much faster and more consistent in some spheres and social groups than in others. In particular we investigate the dynamic processes that lead to and shape inequalities between adult men and women; the different patterns of resource allocation and constraints in reproductive and productive activities; and the reciprocal influences of changing lives and structures. We also consider how the time-processes involved in individual and institutional change can differ, for example if organisational inertia causes institutions to lag behind individual change. Gender inequality is a well-worked field. However, the research presented in this book is both innovative and timely. It moves discussion forwards from misleading static and universal accounts to dynamic and contextualised ones. We use life-course perspectives and longitudinal accounts of resources and constraints to understand more of how the lives of women and men are changing. However, we push beyond the standard analysis of life-course stages. These have been depicted as a sequence of configurations of status in different life spheres – mainly...