Racism, Sexism, and the World-System

Overview

This is a long overdue addition to a series of books and edited collections spawned initially from Immanuel Wallerstein's The Modern World-System. These 12 'theoretically informed case studies' from a 1987 conference add considerable insight to the heavy emphasis of the World-Systems approaches on macroeconomic determinism with the inclusion of ideological and cultural factors. Most cases address how capital uses social categories to cheapen industrial labor costs in Asia and the US. Two illuminating chapters ...

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Overview

This is a long overdue addition to a series of books and edited collections spawned initially from Immanuel Wallerstein's The Modern World-System. These 12 'theoretically informed case studies' from a 1987 conference add considerable insight to the heavy emphasis of the World-Systems approaches on macroeconomic determinism with the inclusion of ideological and cultural factors. Most cases address how capital uses social categories to cheapen industrial labor costs in Asia and the US. Two illuminating chapters analyze the 'minoritization of immigrants' and variations in masculinity norms as aspects of this labor cheapening process. Choice

A collection of papers presented at the Eleventh Annual Political Economy of the World-System Conference, this volume illustrates the degree to which fundamental processes of the world-system entail racist and sexist practices. The contributors have taken as their focus the attempt to both explain--in social, political, or historical terms--the pervasiveness of racism and sexism and trace the relationship between the two and the organization of the contemporary political economy. Taken together, their papers offer a more coherent treatment of the problem than has heretofore been available. By integrating an understanding of racial and sexual oppression with that of other processes that constitute the world-economy they offer new insights into the workings of the world-system and new hope for concerted efforts to eliminate racism and sexism.

Many of the essays included here take the form of theoretically informed case studies. Detailed historical works explore such issues as labor force formation in the New York garment industry in the late 19th and early 20th century and competition in the world textile industry in the latter half of the 1880s. A critical analysis of the construction of census categories and an examination of the myths of differential ethnic success provide real-world examples of discrimination and its effects. A number of papers focus on the implications of our understanding of racial and sexual oppression for political struggle, while others assess the impact of women's exclusion from the workforce on power relationships in the home. Two major theoretical pieces address the issues in more general terms, emphasizing the circumstances under which racism and sexism are created and recreated in various contexts. Taken as a whole, the volume provides a necessary and enlightening re-examination of the role of race and gender in the world-economy.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

JOAN SMITH is Professor of Sociology and a Research Associate at the Fernand Braudel Center at the State University of New York at Binghamton.

JANE COLLINS is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the State University of New York at Binghamton.

TERENCE K. HOPKINS is Director of Doctoral Studies in Sociology at the State University of New York at Binghamton and Board Member of the university's Fernand Braudel Center.

AKBAR MUHAMMAD is Associate Professor of African and Islamic History at the State University of New York at Binghamton.

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Table of Contents

General Orientation

The Ideological Tensions of Capitalism: Universalism versus Racism and Sexism by Immanuel Wallerstein

Cultural Parameters of Sexism and Racism in the International Division of Labor by June Nash

The World-System and the Creation of Race and Gender

Minorities and the World-System: Theoretical and Political Implications of the Internationalization of Minorities by Martha E. Gimenez

Images of Docility: Asian Women and World-Economy by Nancy Melissa Lutz

Capital and Gender in the Third World: Theoretical Analysis of the Current Crisis by Peter F. Bell

"A Tailor is Nothing Without a Wife, and Very Often a Child": Gender and Labor Force Formation in the New York Garment Industry, 1880-1920 by Kathie Friedman Kasaba

Race and Gender and the Creation of Work in the World-System

Gender Relations in the World-Economy: Competition in the Textile Industry, 1850-1900 by Ann E. Forsythe and Roberto P. Korzeniewicz

Female Resistance to Marginalization: The Igbo Women's War of 1929 by Kathryn B. Ward

Degraded Work and Devalued Labor: The Proletarianization of Women in the Semiconductor Industry by John Horton and Eun-Jin Lee

"Ethnicity" and "Race" in the Small Business Literature: Some Lessons from the World-Systems Perspective by Richard Williams

Uneven Development and the Origins of Split Labor Market Discrimination: A Comparision of Black, Chinese, and Mexican Immigrant Minorities in the United States by Terry Boswell and David Jorjani

Asian-American Success in Hawaii: Myth, Reality, or Artifact of Women's Labor by James Geschwender and Rita Carroll-Seguin

Bibliography

Index

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