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Sociologia, Problemas e Práticas

versão impressa ISSN 0873-6529

Sociologia, Problemas e Práticas  n.42 Oeiras maio 2003

 

CLASS AND GENDER BEYOND THE “CULTURAL TURN”

Rosemary Crompton*

 

Abstract This paper addresses recent debates in order to facilitate a constructive return to discussions of gender and class. It is argued that “class” is primarily an economic concept, whereas “gender” inequalities primarily reflect normative/cultural constructions. Nevertheless, cultural degradations have economic consequences. It is suggested that a major strand of debate in relation to “gender and class” - that is, the feminist critique of quantitative class analysis (as exemplified by Goldthorpe, Erikson and Wright) - was flawed from the beginning. However, the “cultural turn” in feminism overlaid gender with sexuality and removed class altogether. Thus, debates in relation to gender, class, and the division of labour were not worked out to a satisfactory conclusion. Nevertheless, a class perspective remains essential if we are to understand and analyse the consequences of changes in the gender division of labour.

Keywords Gender, class, identity, culture.

 

Resumo Este artigo foca debates recentes que têm em vista contribuir para um retorno construtivo às discussões sobre género e classe. Defende-se aqui que “classe” é em primeiro lugar um conceito económico, enquanto as desigualdades de “género” reflectem principalmente construções normativo-culturais. No entanto, as degradações culturais têm consequências económicas. Afirma-se também que uma das principais componentes do debate relativamente a “género e classe” - isto é, a crítica feminista às análises quantitativas de classe (tal como são exemplificadas por Goldthorpe, Erikson e Wright) - está equivocada desde o início. Contudo, a “viragem cultural” no feminismo sobrepôs género e sexualidade, ao mesmo tempo que removeu a classe social. Assim, os debates sobre género, classe e divisão do trabalho não chegaram a uma conclusão satisfatória. A perspectiva de classe permanece, porém, essencial se quisermos compreender e analisar as consequências das mudanças ocorridas na divisão sexual do trabalho.

Palavras-chave Género, classe, identidade, cultura.

 

Résumé Cet article met l’accent sur les débats récents qui visent à contribuer à un retour constructif aux discussions sur le genre et la classe. Il défend que la “classe” est avant tout un concept économique, tandis que les inégalités de “genre” reflètent essentiellement des constructions normativo-culturelles, même si les dégradations culturelles ont des conséquences économiques. Pour l’auteur, l’une des principales composantes du débat “genre et classe” - à savoir la critique féministe des analyses quantitatives de classe (telles qu’elles sont présentées par Goldthorpe, Erikson et Wright) - se trompe dès le départ. Toutefois, le “tournant culturel” opéré au sein du féminisme a superposé genre et sexualité, tout en écartant la classe sociale. Partant, les débats sur le genre, la classe et la division du travail n’ont débouché sur aucune conclusion satisfaisante. La perspective de classe demeure néanmoins essentielle si nous voulons comprendre et analyser les conséquences des changements opérés dans la division sexuelle du travail.

Mots-clés Genre, classe, identité, culture.

 

Resúmene Este artículo destaca los debates recientes que contribuyen al retorno constructivo de las discusiones sobre género y clase. Se defiende que “clase” es en primer lugar un concepto económico, mientras las desigualdades de “género” reflejan principalmente construcciones normativo-culturales. Sin embargo, las degradaciones culturales tienen consecuencias económicas. Se afirma también que una de las componentes principales del debate relativo a “género” y “clase”- es decir, la crítica feminista a los análisis cuantitativos de clase (tal como son ejemplificadas por Goldthorpe, Erikson y Wright) - está equivocada desde el principio. Sin embargo, el “cambio cultural” en el feminismo sobrepone género y sexualidad, al mismo tiempo que aparta la clase social. Por esto, los debates sobre género, clase y división del trabajo, no llegaron a una conclusión satisfactoria. La perspectiva de clase permanece, no obstante, esencial si queremos comprender y analizar las consecuencias de los cambios efectuados en la división sexual del trabajo.

Palabras-clave Género, clase, identidad, cultura.

 

Texto completo disponível apenas em PDF.

Full text only available in PDF format.

 

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*Rosemary Crompton, City University, London. E-mail: r.crompton@city.ac.uk

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