Gottschall, K.; Shire, Karen:

Understanding Employment Systems from a Gender Perspective – Pitfalls and Potentials of New Comparative Analytical Frameworks.

In: ZeS-Arbeitspapier, (2007) ; Nr. 6, S. 39 pages
ISSN: 1436-7203
Zeitschriftenaufsatz / Fach: Soziologie, Sozialwissenschaften
Economic globalization, welfare state transformation as well as political and social change
on national and supranational level impact on national labor markets in advanced societies
in complex ways. From a gender perspective, these dynamics of change entail deregulation
as well as re-regulation of employment systems and at the same time are triggered by shifts
in gender relations. Addressing this complexity poses challenges to scholarly research comparing
employment systems and systemizing cross-national variations of labor market regimes
which tend to neglect gender relations as a relevant factor of change. This context
sets the framework for our question on how ongoing changes in employment systems and in
gender relations are taken up in recent scholarship. We focus on three approaches prominent
in the mainstream scholarly debate which address the current state of employment systems
in advanced economies in comparative perspective spanning from political economy
to micro economics and economic sociology, namely the Varieties of Capitalism (VOC)
approach (Hall/Soskice 2001), Marsden’s micro-economic theory of employment systems
(1999) and Fligstein’s work ‘The architecture of markets’ (2001). The approaches differ in
the assignment of agency (to firms, employees and the state) as well as in the assessment of
the role of educational institutions for shaping employment systems. They thus dispose of
different pitfalls and potentials for analyzing the gendered character of change of employment

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