Heidi Gottfried is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Wayne State University. She has published several books and articles on the themes of gender, precarity and work. Her recent book entitled Gender, Work and Economy: Unpacking the Global Economy, explores the relationship between gender and work in the global economy. She has edited or co-edited several books, including: Gendering The Knowledge Economy: Comparative Perspectives; Equity in the Workplace: Gendering Workplace Policy Analysis; and Feminism and Social Change: Bridging Theory and Practice. In her new book The Reproductive Bargain: Deciphering the Enigma of Japanese Capitalism (Brill, 2015), Gottfried develops a gendered institutional analysis of work and employment in Japan. With Stephen Edgell and Edward Granter, she edited The SAGE Handbook of the Sociology of Work and Employment, a forthcoming landmark collection of original contributions by leading specialists from around the world.
This project asks several questions concerning the transformation of the workplace: a) do flexibilization strategies presage a new social organization of work in which women exercise more power, b) do flexible practices continue to follow traditional Fordist management principles but under a new post-Fordist or post-bureaucratic rubric/rhetoric, or, c) do recent developments signify an emergent mode of regulation? Through a study of temporary employment provided by a single firm, Manpower, Inc., under different national settings, this research seeks to clarify concepts and establish empirical referents. Holding the employee provider firm constant cross-nationally and varying law, culture and economic structure the proposed research can more accurately determine the extent to which particular forms of flexibility (such as temporary work) are associated with empowerment, social control, or some combination of both.