We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

Patriarchy, capitalism and married women’s work: constraints, opportunities and attitudes

Greasley, Philip (1991) Patriarchy, capitalism and married women’s work: constraints, opportunities and attitudes. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The relationship that women have with the labour market is marked in general by several characteristics which distinguish it from men’s involvement in the labour force. That is, the majority of jobs women do, especially part time jobs, suffer from a combination of poor pay, bad conditions, few fringe benefits and little chance of promotion. Much of women's employment is dull, repetitive and boring and is largely in unskilled or semi-skilled work. In addition to this vertical concentration of women's employment, the majority of women are also horizontally concentrated into certain types of occupations or industries, for example, clerical and service occupations. This thesis focusses particularly on married women's work. It aims to place the characteristics and features of married women's work within an historical context. This is attempted by tracing patterns and trends in married women's employment from pre- industrial Britain to the present. A theoretical perspective is developed which aims to explain these trends and patterns in relation to the dual influences of capitalism and patriarchy. Arising from this discussion, an important focus for the thesis, and the focus for the field work, is to examine the way in which married women themselves react to their position at home and in the labour market. Thus, married women's attitudes, perceptions and reactions toward their home commitments and labour market participation are considered in relation to available opportunities and constraints. Opportunities and constraints which this thesis argues are largely the result of the interrelationship between capitalist and patriarchal interests. The fieldwork for this thesis, referred to as the Newcastle Study, looks at four occupations (cleaning, clerical, catering and retail work) which are typical areas of married women's paid employment. The results are compared with those of other empirical studies and with other findings discussed within the rest of the thesis. The Newcastle Study illuminates many of the issues raised in the earlier review of the literature. Particular attention is paid to results which highlight the constraints which patriarchy and capitalism put upon married women's labour market opportunities, and the ways in which they affect married women's attitudes to paid and unpaid work.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1991
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Dec 2012 11:59

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter