Gender relations in urban development : an alternative framework of analysis in Athens, Greece.
The thesis aims to contribute to research efforts to
link geographical development with gender divisions in
society. Its main aim is to study how gender inequality is
inscribed in the process of urban development; and how in
turn that process may be involved in constructing gender
hierarchies as it shapes a context of everyday life.
In order to think on these questions and on the
particularities of a historically and geographically
specific context, recent development of Athens is
examined. The analysis proceeds from broad processes and
patterns of urban development to a detailed study of a
particular area, based on its history of urban growth, on
a survey of women residents and on detailed interviews.
In the light of theoretical and empirical
elaboration, the thesis argues that not all aspects of
urban development can pe thoroughly analysed and explained
through the study of gender relations; and, conversely,
not every aspect of gender relations can be thoroughly
understood through the study of urban" deve lopment. The
effort therefore is to clarify the conceptual and
analytical links between processes of urban development
and gender relations formed and re-defined therein.
To this end, the analysis builds around two
interrelated themes: "workplaces", or the workings of the
urban labour market, and "homes", or conditions of
reproduction. These themes, it is argued, constitute the
material basis of gender relations and the conflicting
realities of women's experiences. At the same time they
illuminate important aspects of urban development, by
shifting the emphasis on processes that shape quite
diverse working and living environments and pattern the
use of space and time in ways that affect differently
people of different gender, class, culture. They can
therefore form the basis of a framework of understanding
where gender relations are part of the analysis and
explanation of urban development.