Interrogating Gender and Globalization

Fall: Fridays, 1:30–4:30 p.m., September 16– December 9, 2005

This course will investigate interactions between gender and economic globalization, considering ways in which economic globalization is at play in constructions of masculinity and femininity, along with ways in which “gender” has shaped and inflected globalization. We will begin by considering alternative approaches to theorizing “economic globalization” and “gender” so as to establish a set of common terms and frames of reference. We will then look at their interplay by exploring the impact of gendered assumptions on global capital and by thinking about the link between conventions of masculinity and the behavior of global decision-makers. From there, we will consider work that addresses the “feminization of labor” in transnational production, with a focus on the differential impact of this form of globalization on women, men, and on gender equity. We will explore studies that examine the movement of capital, export-processing, domestic labor, sex work, and deindustrialization in “the north.” In each instance, we will be alert to the uneven, unequal, and occasionally surprising impact of these processes on women and men and the potential for feminist transformations.


Carole Biewener is a professor of economics and women’s studies at Simmons College and coordinator for the interdisciplinary minor in social justice. She teaches courses in economic development, gender in development, women and work, feminist economics, and organizing for social change. Building on her previous work on the French Socialist government’s monetary and financial policies in the 1980s, her current work is focused on community development in the United States and Canada with an emphasis on progressive finance initiatives.

Leslie Salzinger is an ethnographer, specializing in the study of gender, feminist theory, globalization, and economic sociology. Within those fields, her primary research interests lie in the cultural constitution of economic processes and in the creation of subjectivities within political economies. Her 2003 book, Genders in Production: Making Workers in Mexico’s Global Factories, focuses on the formation and consequences of gendered subjectivities in transnational production on Mexico ‘s northern border. Her current research investigates the social constitution of markets and value among peso/dollar traders in banks located in New York and Mexico City. She teaches courses in the sociology of gender and feminist theory, epistemology and ethnographic methods, globalization, and economic sociology.

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Consortium for Graduate Studies in Gender, Culture, Women, and Sexuality
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 14N-211
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Phone: 617-324-2085