Feminist scholars research impacts on gender and labour driven by the new economy

Monday, 9 December 2013

Top international feminist scholars from UoN's New Times: Transforming Feminist Political Economies Network are rethinking categories of gender and labour.

The New Times: Transforming Feminist Political Economies Network, led by the University of Newcastle's Professor Lisa Adkins, aims to bring key scholars together to shape a novel research agenda covering such areas as: the home, working agreements and work contracts, unemployment and underemployment, money and finance, austerity, the law, and debt.

"The major rearrangements of labour and life associated with the new economy demand that social scientists rethink many of their key categories of analysis, including the home, living, working, the private, the everyday and even the future," Professor Adkins said.

"The new economy characterised by shifts away from manufacturing to service and knowledge production has heralded a shift the way people work and live their lives. Through our research we want to look at how this shift reshapes the way people live now and how it will impact the future," Professor Adkins said.New Times: Transforming Feminist Political Economies Network

"Through our research we want to shift the terms of academic and policy debate concerning gender and labour. In particular, we want to highlight not only how female labour is a site of intense and complex activity in the new economy, but also how such labour is a now key object of analysis for understanding forms of economic and social change," Professor Adkins said. 

"This means moving away from some of the familiar problematics through which we have come to understanding relations between women and work, including the idea that women must 'balance' work and life. Such framings hold little traction in the new economy where distinctions between working and non-working and between work and home are increasingly difficult to draw."

The research network recently participated in a workshop that refined the research focus on the group and developed a program of research activities.

Participants in the workshop included:

  • Professor Lisa Adkins. BHP Billiton Chair of Sociology, HASS, University of Newcastle.
  • Dr Fiona Allon. Future Fellow, Department of Gender and Cultural Studies, Univ. of Sydney.
  • Dr Emily Grabham. Senior Lecturer, School of Law, University of Kent at Canterbury, UK.
  • Professor Anne Kovalainen Professor of Economics, University of Turku, Finland.
  • Dr Donatella Alessandrini Reader, School of Law, University of Kent at Canterbury, UK.
  • Professor Anna Yeatman Professorial Research Fellow, Whitlam Institute, Univ. of Western Sydney.

Those in the photo (L to R) are:Lisa Adkins, Anne Kovalainen, Donatella Alessandrini, Fiona Allon, and Emily Grabham.