Gender Division of Labor and Work Geography Essay
This possibility stems from the finding that the main reason that white women now work closer to home than men is their greater responsibility for child care and domestic work (Hooks 65). The freedom to work farther from home is likely to change the work women carry out and may contribute further to eroding the gender divisions of labor. Clearly, we need to know more about who telecommutes within the household and how that affects the distribution and location of paid and unpaid work. Gender Division of Labor and Work Geography Essay
Will male presence at home and women’s reduced involvement in housework lead to women working farther away from home?
In sum, clearly, we see geography at the heart of the reasons why Information Technology might be a stimulus for change in the gender divisions of labor. The shifts of paid work away from fixed work locations into the home, along with the advent of the Internet, potentially have implications also for the role of networks in shaping work and communities (Hooks102).
Information Technology, Networks, and Community
In our study of gender and work in Worcester, Massachusetts, Gerry Pratt and I have documented how the place-based and rendered personal contacts and social networks of employers, employees, and potential employees shape highly localized, distinctive, and gendered labor markets. They have also shown how these local labor market practices are interwoven into the fabric of the community (Hooks 86). Gender Division of Labor and Work Geography Essay
At the same time that many people are gleefully announcing the advent of a location-free existence in cyberspace, others are busy demonstrating the importance of social capital, which is, or at least has been, deeply place dependent. Robert Putnam sees social capital as referring to “features of social organization such as networks, norms, and trust that facilitate coordination and cooperation for mutual benefit” (Aronson and Kimmel, 215). In her definition, Patricia emphasizes the importance of the group by noting that social capital “resides in the relations between members, not in individuals who compose it” (Aronson and Kimmel 216).Gender Division of Labor and Work Geography Essay
Social capital emerges from repeated social exchanges that are usually—and necessarily—face to face, exchanges infused with the expectation of ongoing interaction. Social capital requires, then, a certain level of residential rootedness in real places in order to develop; the nature of a person’s social capital depends to a large extent on geographic and social location.
Aronson, Amy and Michael, Kimmel. The Gendered Society Reader. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2010. Print.