Handbook of Research on Gender and Economic Life
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Handbook of Research on Gender and Economic Life

Edited by Deborah M. Figart and Tonia L. Warnecke

The Handbook illuminates complex facets of the economic and social provisioning process across the globe. The contributors – academics, policy analysts and practitioners from wide-ranging areas of expertise – discuss the methodological approaches to, and analytical tools for, conducting research on the gender dimension of economic life. They also provide analyses of major issues facing both developed and developing countries. Topics explored include civil society, discrimination, informal work, working time, central bank policy, health, education, food security, poverty, migration, environmental activism and the financial crisis.
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Chapter 7: Gender and provisioning under different capitalisms

Barbara E. Hopkins


At the heart of economic life is the process of providing for oneself and one’s family – provisioning. This process varies depending on the location in society and the structure of the economic system. Most of us live under some form of capitalism. Although capitalism is defined by markets, families and the state also play important roles in the provisioning process. This chapter explains how different forms of capitalism shape provisioning and how the experience of these different forms of capitalism is different for women and men. Parallel to different forms of capitalism, different gender regimes – the variety of ways to differentiate rules for men and women – also shape the way men and women experience different capitalisms. The two most popular models for categorizing capitalisms are the varieties of capitalism (VOC) approach and the three worlds of welfare capitalism approach. These models are both based primarily on men’s experience of labor markets, mediated by state regulation and social policies. Feminist scholars have criticized this literature and offered modifications. For women, and especially mothers, the role of the family and the state in provisioning is more obvious than for men. Thus, feminist analyses of welfare states emphasize the role of the state in altering women’s dependence on family to provide for themselves and their children. In this chapter, I argue that understanding how gender influences provisioning indifferent capitalisms requires a focus on two previously neglected aspects of economic systems.

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