Analyzing Gender, Intersectionality, and Multiple Inequalities: Global, Transnational and Local Contexts: Volume 15


Table of contents

(22 chapters)
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Purpose and approach – This introduction sets forth the main themes of the volume showing how its 13 chapters advance the themes and how they relate to each other and other recent relevant recent research and theory.

Research implications – Discussions by volume authors outlining the strengths and limitations of current theories and methods and offering new or modified paradigms for future work are previewed here.

Practical and social implications – Each of the chapters describes one or more situations in which regimes of inequality play a role and several offer policy analyses.

Value of chapter – This chapter by the editors serves as an introduction to the volume.

Purpose – The purpose of the chapter is to investigate the implications of including multiple inequalities in addition to class for analyses of the implications of globalization for inequality.

Methodology/approach – The chapter addresses both conceptual and methodological issues in the analysis of changes in economic inequalities. It draws on comparative data of changes in class and gender economic inequalities using data from the World Bank, OECD, and Eurostat.

Findings – The chapter finds that gender and class inequalities have different trajectories of change, although they have implications for each other. This means that the analysis of globalization needs to analyze gender separately from class as well as their points of intersection in order to gain an accurate understanding of the changes in inequality that are linked to globalization. It is found that the complexity theory is very useful as an aid to theorizing intersectionality. It is found that the use of the distinction between neoliberal and social democratic forms of modernity aids the analysis.

Originality/value of chapter – The chapter provides an innovative analysis of the implications of including gender in analyses of global economic inequality, which has implications for the theorization of gender and intersectionality as well as of globalization.

Purpose – This chapter will discuss strategies of feminist research that can best be applied to globalized gender studies.

Approach – These strategies work with the premise that women and men are not homogeneous categories that can be used for simple comparisons. They are divided by national allegiances, social class statuses, and racial ethnic identities as well as by gender. Individuals have more than one status, and these statuses intersect and impact on each other. When some or all of these statuses are in disadvantaged groups, the result of this intersectionality of disadvantaged statuses is complex inequality. Feminist scholarship has to be able to work with multiple categories and multiple identities in examining the causes of and remedies for complex inequality.

The concept of gender in intersectional research alludes to a social status equivalent to other advantaged and disadvantaged social statuses. I contrast the premises of gender feminism and woman's feminism to show the development of the concept of gender as social structural, rather than just individual, interactive, and relational.

Findings – Useful strategies in the new directions in feminist research that are intersectional and global are the following: using more than one set of opposites, recognizing subjects’ multiple identities and status dilemmas, analyzing the effects of intersectionality on complex inequality, and being aware of the advantages and disadvantages of the researcher's standpoint.

Value – The value of these strategies of multidimensional feminist research is to develop new sources of knowledge and new approaches for effective transnational feminist political activism.

Purpose – To place contemporary masculinity research in a global context and explore new possibilities for theory and research.

Method – Review of international literature, and life-history interviewing.

Findings – A full appreciation of the significance of world society for gender analysis requires reworking both theory, to incorporate the perspectives of the global South, and research methods, to allow for the impact of global social forces.

Originality: The chapter develops critical perspectives on masculinity studies; introduces theorists not normally included in this field; and presents two case studies from current field research illustrating the interplay between local history and global social forces.

Purpose – To understand women's participation in domestic and global sex (entertainment) industries in South Korea, this study proposes an integrative theoretical framework of political economy with three analytical dimensions: position in the world-system, local patriarchy, and the state policies.

Method/approach – The theory that seeks to understand the South Korean government's policy on prostitution is formulated based on reviews of transnational and global research on gender and sex work, local patriarchy, and political economy of world-system. Two historical examples of the sex industry, businesses near U.S. military camps on the Korean peninsula and Korean prostitutes in several cities of Japan, are used to illustrate the theory. The data for these cases were collected from a variety of sources including government and nongovernment documents, newspaper articles, film, and demographic information.

Findings – The application of the theoretical frame makes it possible to understand the socioeconomic and political contexts in which South Korean society, as a semiperipheral nation, has produced a vast number of women in the sex industry.

Practical implications – When the government's policy emphasizes rapid economic growth viewing women as a source of revenue, it will be difficult to understand marginalization of women's status in informal sectors and massive production of prostitutes in domestic and transnational scale.

Value of study – Using a macro and structural perspective, this study sheds light on the transnational/global nature of the prostitution industry, and specifically the role of the state, and local patriarchy in the globalizing South Korean sex industry.

Purpose – Integrating a gender perspective with a world-system theory, we examine how the recent global economic crisis in China has differential impact on female and male migrant workers. We analyzes how this gendered impact is compounded by intersectionality that results in multiple inequalities shaping their work, identity, power relationship, agency, and family lives.

Method – Our analyses were primarily drawn from 14 surveys of major provinces with higher migration rates, and were supplemented by personal narratives and interviews of migrant workers.

Findings – The political-economic analysis of the world-system demonstrates how the intricate linkages among declines in trade, finance, and production led to the economic crisis in China, with more detrimental effects on women migrant workers than their male counterparts. The intersectionality of gender, class, age/generation, and regional differences has played out in the state-regulated process of migration, configuring and reconfiguring the organization of capital, labor, and production and determining unequal gender relations, class dynamics, citizenship, employment, and family life. Conditioned by complex inequalities, some affected migrant workers, far from being victimized, have demonstrated agency, resilience, and a spirit of resistance.

Research and practical implications – More disaggregated data by gender are needed to understand the full range of differential crisis effects on diverse women and men workers.

Originality/value of the study – This study suggests the importance of considering gender-sensitive policies and a gender mainstreaming approach to addressing gender inequality and improving migrant workers’ lives for their empowerment.

Purpose – The chapter explores how gendered division of labor shapes gender hierarchal relationships, inequality, social mobility, and labor solidarity of women and men workers in the small-scale restaurant industry in China.

Methodological approach – Thirty-four interviews with restaurant workers were conducted and a survey was taken.

Findings – Small-scale restaurants in China are patriarchal in structure that symbolizes a familial hegemonic regime. Labor is divided by gender, age and, to some extent, class with women concentrated in the lower positions. Most restaurant workers are young migrant women who come to the city to work before marrying and having children. Restaurant work is arduous: the hours are long and the wages are low. Women workers do not advance beyond the position of server, while men make use of social contacts and advance in status and wages. Because of kinship and village ties as well as divisions by age and gender, class solidarity cannot be achieved.

Value of the study – The chapter focuses on a topic that has been little studied. It furthers an understanding of intersectionality and inequality among food service workers in the context of China.

Purpose – This chapter aims to explore and discuss how women paid and unpaid labor in weaving is positioned in the flexible production chain in the context of local development.

Methodology/approach – It is based on a research11Report on Effects and Results of the Relationships between Manufacturers and Local Weavers on the Local Social Structure: Cases of Mugla/Yesilyurt, Istanbul/Sile and Kastamonu in collaboration with Asuman Turkun-Erendil and supported by Mugla University Research Projects Unit, 2006 (unpublished project report). study, using mainly oral history methods, of three weaving centers in Anatolia in their attempts to achieve local development through the restructuring of their traditional craft.

Findings – This study shows how a flexible production process is organized in ways in which women's labor is almost always positioned as cheap and insecure. In this process, through production of hegemonic discourses, symbolic capital of secure women's work is drastically decreased and that of the production activity itself (weaving) is increased. It also discusses how the state as the main carrier of symbolic violence, plays an important role in expansion of flexible production and informality directly (with its policies applied in its own enterprises) or indirectly (with its policies in general).

Originality/value of paper – By focusing on the mechanisms through women's labor is kept cheap or unpaid in the organization of the entire production process and also on the relationships between women's labor and the state in local development context, critical points for future discussion and policy-making are raised.

Purpose – This conceptual essay delineates a transnational methodology for the study of gender and migration.

Approach – I summarize selectively some of the current research about the ways in which gender and family life change when they are enacted across borders and present findings from two empirical studies, based on fieldwork carried out in the Dominican Republic and in Peru.

Findings – I show the ideological engines of changing gender relations from two different sites in the transnational social fields in which migrants are embedded: social remittances and the vernacularization of global ideas about women's rights. When migrants send social remittances, or ideas, practices, and know-how, back to their homelands, they challenge conventional ideas about marriage, child-rearing, and women's work. The impact of global ideas about women's rights, and how they are vernacularized or made understandable and useful in local contexts, very much depends on the historical, cultural, and organizational contexts through which they travel.

Implications – The chapter has both practical and social implications showing how using a transnational optic elucidates aspects of contemporary social experience that are obscured when we assume that the nation-state is the logical automatic container within which social life takes place.

Purpose – This study explores the contributions of African immigrant women, as transnational change-agents, to community development in sub-Saharan Africa and in the Greater Boston and Philadelphia areas.

Design/methodology/approach – This study draws on theories and concepts in migration and feminist studies, such as transnationalism and intersectionality, and uses snowball sampling to conduct in-depth, structured interviews with African immigrant entrepreneurs and civic leaders.

Findings – Although their intersectional status affected their personal and professional lives, these African women adopted a new Pan-Africanism, which enabled them to contribute to development in their homelands and especially to urban revitalization in the United States.

Originality/value of the paper – This research demonstrates African immigrant women's agency in their “home” and “host” societies conducted within the frameworks of transnationalism and intersectionality. It provides insights about African immigrants’ experiences that may be useful in immigration policy.

Purpose – Analyzing support strategies (such as childcare, elderly care, nursing, and remittances) of Ukrainian migrants living in Germany, the chapter addresses the interrelationship of social inequality and migration. First, it explores mechanisms influencing the unequal distribution of financial and care support within Ukrainian transnational families. Second, it examines how the unequal distribution influences migrants’ social mobility in Germany.

Methods – Building on the intersectionality approach the chapter indicates class, ethnic, and gender-specific categorizations as being important determinants of unequal support distribution. Conducting 28 semi-structured interviews the author used the multisited research methodology including the sending (Kiev, Rogosin near Lviv, Poltava and Ivano-Frankovsk) and the receiving (Bielefeld) localities.

Findings – The research results point out how correspondent gender narratives, self-ethnicization and migrants’ strategies of status representation structure the unequal support distribution. First, marital status regulates quantities of migrant women's support, which encourages the self-exploitation of married migrant women, in contrast to single mothers. Second, the quantities of migrant men's social support are influenced by their educational achievements in Germany. In sum, migrant men and single mothers are generally sooner integrated into the formal labor market than married migrant women.

Limitations – The interpretation of research results is limited to a number of qualitative interviews and should not be over-generalized in a quantitative manner. Nevertheless, it provides insights into how the transnationally organized reproductive sector influences migrants’ social mobility in the country of destination.

Purpose – This chapter attempts to understand the impact of war, conflict, and forced migration in the northwest border of India on the security of the aged widows and the ways they respond, construct, and negotiate their lives.

Methodology – The study is based on group discussions in villages and camps and narratives of seven widowed women who were asked to tell the story of their lives.

Findings – The chapter highlights that widowed women's agency was exercised in a significant manner during the situations of war, conflict, and forced migration, but it was largely circumscribed by the intersection of patriarchy, rural structure, customary practices, and inheritance rights. New norms and new roles were taken up in the migrant camps, but village life with its traditional extended family structure was still considered ideal for the social security it provided. However, aged widows are no longer treated with respect and care, suggesting a decline in the traditional joint family system and of the dominant position of elderly widowed women in it. This was accelerated in conflict situations.

Research implications – The research calls for focusing on women's agency and moving beyond the victimhood paradigm in women's studies. It highlights the significance of individual interpretations of events and the relevance of qualitative methods such as life stories.

Value of chapter – The chapter is valuable for its work on themes such as rural life, gender, and conflict studies and for policy makers to initiate plans dealing with the problems of forced migrants and of the security of the older people, particularly widows.

Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to discuss diversity among individual activists and the movement as a whole in the United States and identify the concerns, challenges, opportunities, and initiatives facing the broader network of global peace activists.

Design/methodology/approach – Data were from my study of U.S. peace activists that included 251 Internet survey respondents and 33 telephone interviewees.

Findings – I present a typology of internal and external challenges for the peace movement identified by activists, as well as five strategies for diversifying the movement.

Social implications – As some respondents expressed how their privileged status as American citizens prompted their peace activism, I explore how the intersection of a socially dominant status with the experience of belonging to a subordinated gender group impacts activism. I also discuss global opportunities to strengthen the peace and justice movement with a particular focus on women's activism.

Originality – While most studies of peace activism focus on social movement organizations, this is a comprehensive study of individuals involved in peace activism after September 11, 2001.

Purpose – To answer two related questions, namely, why women in general are excluded from peace-building processes and why women in Israel are excluded from peace-building processes and have to create their own organizations?

Methodology/approach – This is narrative prospective research paper. First, the research focuses on international gender theories regarding participation of women in peace-building processes, and then on the particular situation of women in Israel and their need to form peace movements and organizations of their own.

Findings – The research revealed that Israeli women's absence from the official negotiations with the Palestinians as well as women's exclusion from other peace-building processes is part of a global phenomenon. Given the fact that women have been missing from the Israel's official negotiations with the Palestinians since 1987 when the first Intifada began, and their plight is not addressed, women need to create their own peace movements and organizations for voicing their unique value for the benefit of society at large.

Research limitations – An update of the research should be conducted every two years to check changes in findings.

Value of the paper – The chapter highlights the significance of women's inclusion in peace building. It describes women's exclusion from the peace process in Israel although they have been extremely active and were recognized internationally and stresses the need for a gendered society to end the Palestinian–Israel conflict.

Anna Amelina is a senior researcher at the Faculty of Sociology in Bielefeld, Germany. Her research addresses subjects such as social inequality and migration, transnationalization of gender regimes, and methodology of transnational studies. Empirically, she focuses on formation of social inequalities in the context of transnational migration between Germany and Ukraine. Her last publications include “Searching for an appropriate research strategy on transnational migration: The logic of multi-sited research and the advantage of the cultural interferences approach” in Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 11(1), 2009, with Thomas Faist, “Turkish migrant associations in Germany. Between integration pressure and transnational linkages” in Revue Européenne des Migrations Internationales (REMI), Vol. 24, 2.

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Advances in Gender Research
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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