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Where Are The Women? Gender, Labor, And Discourse In The Noida Export Processing Zone And Delhi


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  • Urvashi Soni-Sinha
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    Export processing zones (EPZs) are like islands of globalization. Much of the literature on EPZs and export-oriented industries (EOIs) notes a preponderance of women who are constructed as “cheap,” “nimble fingered,” and “docile” labor. This literature is dominated by socialist feminist thinkers, and this paper argues that there is a need to incorporate the insights of postmodern feminist thinkers. The article focuses on the role that language, discourse, and subjectivity play in the gendering process in handmade jewelry production in the Noida Export Processing Zone (NEPZ) and in the ranch production units related by common ownership in Delhi, India. It thus gives “voices” to women and men, and brings out their agency in structuring the labor market. The study confirms that gender division of labor is a product of discursive and material practices that are reproduced through discourses into which different actors invest, and that feed into the gendered subjective identities of these actors.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Feminist Economics.

    Volume (Year): 12 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 335-365

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:12:y:2006:i:3:p:335-365

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    Keywords: Subjectivity; gender division of labor; discourse; export processing; India; JEL Codes: J16; J4; J49;

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    1. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
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