Current Institutional Affiliation
Professor, Political Science, University of Minnesota / Twin Cities

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 1998
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Political Science, Northwestern University
Engendering Industrialization: The Feminization of Factory Labor in Indonesia

Political scientists have neglected the study of the gendered component of industrialization policy. Indonesia provides a fascinating opportunity to explore gendered dynamics of industrialization since the manufacturing workforce has undergone dramatic feminization over the last 25 years. In spite of the macro-trend of feminization, however, women’s employment is confined to a few sectors. Consequently, men still outnumber women in 20 out of 29 sectors and interestingly, 5 sectors have undergone masculinization. Capitalists in different sectors are therefore not equally attracted to female labor, and my dissertation will explain both the sectional variation and the changes in the gendering of work within sectors over time. My dissertation will overcome the problems of existing explanations by adopting a multi-sectoral case study approach that examines changes over time, and a theoretical framework that integrates the work of feminist labor historians and sociologists with the historical institutional perspective in political science and the Foucauldian notion of discourse. I will argue that “gendered discourses of work” are the key to explaining the varying trends in feminization. In addition to illuminating the gendered aspects of industrialization in Indonesia, my study will also contribute insights to similar (and dissimilar) processes in other countries and bring gender into studies of industrialization in political science.