Class Questions / Edition 1

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Class is a particularly troublesome issue in the United States and other rich capitalist societies. In this feminist analysis of class, noted sociologist Joan Acker examines and assesses feminist attempts to include white women and people of color in discussions of class. She argues that class processes are shaped through gender, race, and other forms of domination and inequality. Class Questions: Feminist Answers outlines a theory of class as a set of gendered and racialized processes in which people have unequal control over and access to the necessities of life-processes including production, distribution, and paid and unpaid labor. Historically, gender and race-based inequalities were integral to capitalism and they are still fundamental aspects of the class system. Acker argues that capitalist organizations create gendered and racialized class inequalities and outlines a conceptual scheme for analyzing "inequality regimes" in organizations. Finally, the book examines contemporary changes in work and employment and in economic/political processes, including current events like deregulation, downsizing, and off-shoring, that increase inequalities and alter racialized and gendered class relations. This book will appeal to readers interested in a feminist discussion of class as a racialized and gendered process intimately tied to the capitalist economic system.

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Editorial Reviews

Acker succeeds in breaking new ground by merging issues of class, race, and gender and the lenses through which they are viewed ... Her work does much to close the chasm that has existed between discussions of class and discussions of gender and race. Highly recommended.
Marta Calás and Linda Smircich
Joan Acker’s newest work arrives at precisely the right moment—a time when we are increasingly aware of inequality. This work, which demonstrates her usual clarity and depth of knowledge, provides a study on class that will be as vital as her study on gender. Weaving together multiple strands of feminist theorizing, with particular attention to contributions of materialist feminism, she develops a much-needed framework for understanding and analyzing the implications of organizations in the production and reproduction of gendered and raced class relations. This is an important and hopeful book.
Acker succeeds in breaking new ground by merging issues of class, race, and gender and the lenses through which they are viewed ... Her work does much to close the chasm that has existed between discussions of class and discussions of gender and race. Highly recommended.
April 2008 Feminist Economics
[Acker's] presentation provides a useful overview of theories about class and gender, and readers should find it valuable to get a sense of conversations on these topics....The book is quite valuable....The challenge of accurately describing the world confronts all academics and social thinkers, and Acker provides a commendable addition to that effort. This book certainly stands as an accomplishment of a feminist theorization of class....Acker's account is a worthwhile read for those conceptualizing the connections between class, race, and gender.
Patricia Yancey Martin
In Class Questions: Feminist Answers, Joan Acker responds to feminists' decades-long plea to synthetically analyze class, gender, and race. By focusing on "ongoing processes and practices," she shows how capitalisms and bureaucracy were "gendered" and "racialized" from their inception and how work organizations operate as "regimes of inequality" that make "claims to non-responsibility" for the non-work lives of their members. This brilliantly insightful book is a must-read for anyone interested in how class uses gender and race to create and sustain inequalities in contemporary society.
Diversity and Inclusion: An International Jour Equality
Acker develops a framework for understanding and analysing the implications of organizations in the production and reproduction of gendered, race and class relations…. Acker elevates the importance of class without ignoring gender and race.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742546301
  • Publisher: AltaMira Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2005
  • Series: Gender Lens Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 234
  • Product dimensions: 6.48 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Joan Acker is professor emerita of the department of sociology at the University of Oregon and recipient of the American Sociological Association's Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award and Jessie Bernard Award.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction—The Feminist Problem with Class Chapter 2 Feminists Theorizing Class—Issues and Arguments Chapter 3 Thinking About Gendered and Racialized Class Chapter 4 Is Capitalism Gendered and Racialized? Chapter 5 Large Organizations and the Production of Gendered and Racialized Class Chapter 6 Changes in Gendered and Racialized Class Chapter 7 Conclusion—Some Optimistic Proposals

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