Changing Gender Orders and the Variety of Gender Welfare Regimes

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 4:30 PM
Room: 413
Oral Presentation
Ilse LENZ , Ruhr University Bochum, Bochum, Germany
The paper considers the present transformation towards a flexibilised gender order in a comparative perspective informed by the variety of gender regimes. The paper will outline three stages of gender orders in modernity: In the first stage of national modernisation and capitalist consolidation, the neopatriarchal gender order was established which assigned public and domestic power to men and defined women as mothers and housewives. The the difference based gender order developped as the neopatriarchal authority receded. Formal and legal male superiority was reduced with women’s votes, legal reforms for women’s own rights of property and decision in the family. The worldwide spread of Fordist/Toyotist mass production established men as core workers and women as housewives. Emerging welfare states institutionalised this division of labour with the breadwinner-/housewife model. The varieties of gender regimes have evolved in the context of the different welfare state trajectories and the various paradigms of mass production as Fordism and Toyotism, but they also were influenced by the diverse liberal, social democratic or conservative political culture.

The difference based gender order has been eroding by women’s educational advancements, by women’s movements and the resulting legal and social reforms as well as by postfordism and globalisation and flexibilisation of employment. Presently a flexible gender order is emerging which is based on a pluralisation of gender and gendered employment and life forms; as various forms of sexuality have become acceptable and men, the integration of women into the labour market and increasing flexibilisation and global mobility of employment. The impact of the diverse forms of gender regimes on these transitions will be investigated.