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Transcript of Linda McDowell
Selection of McDowell's Work
(2003) The particularities of place: geographies of gendered moral responsibilities among Latvian migrant workers in 1950s Britain. Transactions, Institute of British Geographers, 28: 19-34.
McDowell, Linda. "Work, workfare, work/life balance and an ethic of care." Progress in Human Geography 28.2 (2004): 145-163.
(2006) Reconfigurations of gender and class relations: Class Differences, Class Condescension and the Changing Place of Class Relations. Antipode, 38(4): 825-850.
(2009) New masculinities and femininities: Gender divisions in the new economy. Ch. 7 in, Furlong, A. (ed.) Handbook of Youth and Young Adulthood: New perspectives and agendas. Routledge, pp. 58.
(2009) Interviewing: Fear and Liking in the Field. Ch. 9, in Delyser, D., Herbert, S., Aitken, S., Crang, M. and McDowell, L. (eds.) (2009) The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Geography. SAGE. pp. 156-171.
(2000) The trouble with men? Young people, gender transformations and the crisis of masculinity. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 24(1), pp. 201-209.
Selection of McDowell's Works
McDowell, L., Anitha, S. and Pearson, R. (2012) Striking similarities: representing South Asian women's industrial action in Britain. Gender, Place and Culture, 19(2): 133-152.
McDowell, L. (2011) Making a drama out of a crisis; representing financial failure or a tragedy in five acts. Transactions Institute of British Geographers, 36(2): 193-205.
McDowell, L. and Dyson, J. (2011) The other side of the knowledge economy: 'reproductive' employment and affective labours in Oxford. Environment and Planning A, 43(9): 2186-2201.
McDowell, L. (2012). Post-crisis, post-Ford and post-gender? Youth identities in an era of austerity. Journal of Youth Studies, 15(5), 573-590.
Selection of McDowell's Works
McDowell, L. (1991). Life without father and Ford: the new gender order of post-Fordism. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 400-419.
McDowell, L. (1992). Doing gender: feminism, feminists and research methods in human geography. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 399-416.
McDowell, L. (1995). Body work: heterosexual gender performances in city workplaces. Mapping desire, 75-95.
McDowell, L. (1999). Gender, identity and place: Understanding feminist geographies. U of Minnesota Press.
Contribution to Geography:
Included women as research subjects to give a female perspective
Deconstructed the social relations of power in creating geographical knowledge
Used statistics of women in the workforce to make them visible
Provided different scales of analysis including the household unit
Critiqued the idea of ‘objectivity’, conventional definitions and scientific methods
Included qualitative methods in analysing the construction of masculinities
Reflected on the positionality between the researcher and the researched
Trends in McDowell's works (2010-)
Most well known for her feminist work within economic geography
From 1980s onwards, she argued for more attention to be paid to gender within human geographical research and the need for a more explicit feminist human geography
- 2 theoretical shifts:
A general turn to questions of meaning and representations in addition to material social relations
Shift away from feminist geography to pluralist feminist geographies
- Important contributions to methodological debates
More effective combinations of quantitative and qualitative methods
Positionality and reflexivity debates
1991: Life without father and Ford
-Post Fordism: Shift towards knowledge and service intensive industries, flexible labour
- Skills and jobs are gendered: Constructions constantly redrawn to assert inferiority of women (e.g. technical skills vs care).
- Core group of skilled workers, implicitly male, and a peripheral group of less well rewarded workers (both male and female).
- Opened up opportunities for some women to join the core occupations and has increased class divisions between men.
- Class and gender have become mutually constituted (Insertion of Marxist Perspective)
2000: The Trouble With Men? Young People, Gender Transformations and the Crisis of Masculinity
- Reviews the socio-economic factors that led to the evolving performativities of men in urban areas: “The Crisis of Masculinity”
-Economic restructuring in Britain led to gender divided jobs between men and women, but there are also class divisions between gender
- Shift towards a service-sector economy reduces the availability of jobs in “masculine” manufacturing and industrial sectors that previously hire low skilled males, and women are preferred in low skilled service work.
- Lead to coping mechanisms: young men engage in violent behaviors to respond to the exclusion from the labor market, and by marking themselves out as different through actions and clothing
- Reinforces the “macho” behaviors, and masculine spaces in cities.
Trends in McDowell's works (2000-2009)
-Focused on gender relations and disputing the hegemonic masculinity in the workplace based on both quantitative and qualitative data
- Investigated masculine performativities using feminist methods, and providing a new perspective to examine dominant masculinities.
Trends in McDowell's Works (1990-1999)
- Critiquing structural inequalities (as opposed to individual lived experiences)
- Adopted a highly poststructuralist approach in her methodologies: questioned the existing patriarchal system through Marxist feminist lenses.
Contributions to Feminist Research METHODS
Collaborative methods - breaking down power relations between researcher and informants
In depth interviews and small-scale case studies over participant observation
Reflect on positionality of researcher and informants through repeated interviews
Ability to empathize with informants construction of identities in constraining economic and political structures
Understand that knowledge is situated
2012: Post-crisis, post-Ford and post-gender? Youth identities in an era of austerity
“Very McDowell”: Building upon her own work that has focused on masculinities and economic geography.
“Post-Ford”: Examining connections between labour market exclusion and gender constructions and performances among Youths.
“Post-gender”: Informed by post-structuralist feminism which argues for the acknowledgement of pluralities and subjectivities in gender identities. Post-Fordist economy not only differentiates between men and women but considers their gender performance. Men from lower classes are excluded from higher-end jobs in a Post-Fordist era of knowledge-based economies. They are excluded from lower-end service provision jobs as these are constructed as feminine which are not suited for their masculine identities. Their identity as youths further exclude them from the economy as they exhibit ‘protest masculinity’ and ‘hedonistic phallic femininity’.
“Post-crisis”: Post 2008 Financial crisis
Main argument of the paper: She argues against individual theorists - performance of gender is not solely determined by individual choice but influenced by other structural constraints. Other identities such as class, race, age intersect with gender performances to exclude certain groups from the economy.