COPYRIGHT YEAR

1999

AUTHORS

Kalwant Bhopal

TITLE

South Asian Women Homeworkers in East London

ABSTRACT

This chapter examines the interaction of gender and ethnicity in the experiences of South Asian homeworkers in east London.1 It draws on the author’s small-scale qualitative study to address questions such as why women become homeworkers, the conditions under which they work and women’s feelings about the choices available to them. Since the mid-1970s the phenomenon of homeworking has received considerable attention as a result of concerns to improve the pay and working conditions of women workers (Allen and Wolkowitz, 1987). Early research on homework attempted to document the persistence of a large, low-paid labour force (Bolton, 1975; Jordan, 1978). These studies challenged the prevailing image of homeworkers as women supported by their husbands who did homeworking in their spare time. They showed that women were forced by economic necessity to undertake long hours of work for low wages (Allen and Wolkowitz, 1987). Mendels (1972) examined the historical contribution of this form of work to capital accumulation and industrial expansion in Western Europe and its relevance to economic development in the third world. Homework has come increasingly to be recognized as a vital element in the capitalist labour process rather than a marginal activity (Rose, 1983).

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1 book-chapters:c7a51c4f1183d8c9c52756e5f07b62eb sg:abstract Abstract This chapter examines the interaction of gender and ethnicity in the experiences of South Asian homeworkers in east London.1 It draws on the author’s small-scale qualitative study to address questions such as why women become homeworkers, the conditions under which they work and women’s feelings about the choices available to them. Since the mid-1970s the phenomenon of homeworking has received considerable attention as a result of concerns to improve the pay and working conditions of women workers (Allen and Wolkowitz, 1987). Early research on homework attempted to document the persistence of a large, low-paid labour force (Bolton, 1975; Jordan, 1978). These studies challenged the prevailing image of homeworkers as women supported by their husbands who did homeworking in their spare time. They showed that women were forced by economic necessity to undertake long hours of work for low wages (Allen and Wolkowitz, 1987). Mendels (1972) examined the historical contribution of this form of work to capital accumulation and industrial expansion in Western Europe and its relevance to economic development in the third world. Homework has come increasingly to be recognized as a vital element in the capitalist labour process rather than a marginal activity (Rose, 1983).
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7 sg:copyrightHolder Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited
8 sg:copyrightYear 1999
9 sg:ddsId Chap8
10 sg:doi 10.1057/9780333983331_8
11 sg:esmRights OpenAccess
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15 sg:language En
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17 sg:metadataRights OpenAccess
18 sg:pageFirst 129
19 sg:pageLast 138
20 sg:scigraphId c7a51c4f1183d8c9c52756e5f07b62eb
21 sg:title South Asian Women Homeworkers in East London
22 sg:webpage https://link.springer.com/10.1057/9780333983331_8
23 rdf:type sg:BookChapter
24 rdfs:label BookChapter: South Asian Women Homeworkers in East London
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