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Title: Between family and work : women's participation in the labour market in Chile
Author: Undurraga, Rosario
ISNI:       0000 0004 2703 7743
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2011
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Chile enjoys relative economic and political stability, but has enormous class, gender and labour market inequalities. Women’s employment participation is low – the lowest in Latin America. This research aims to explain this low female participation rate by looking at women’s experiences, the continuing barriers they face around paid employment, the tension between paid work and family life, and the factors that lead to the decisions they make. It examines normative gendered roles and gendered relations, highlighting diverse experiences between social groups. The study is qualitative, based on 60 semi-structured interviews with upper/middle- and working-class women in Santiago, Chile. The conceptual framework is based on the Total Social Organisation of Labour and is informed by the concepts of gender regime and gender order. I explore the way in which women conceptualise work and the implications of this for their self-esteem, the valuation of women’s work, and their place in society. The conceptualisation of work shapes (mis)recognition, (mis)representation and (mal)distribution of un/paid labour. I argue that structural and cultural factors put women off the labour market. The main obstacles women face when engaging with paid employment are structural (lack of childcare, education, transport time and costs, long working hours) and cultural (machismo, discrimination, traditional division of labour). Most women experience these barriers, which take different forms according to class. Women would like more support, a smaller gender pay gap, wider childcare provision and fewer working hours. The Chilean gender order is characterised by a ‘traditional’ gender division of labour in a ‘modern’ context. It displays a male-breadwinner/female-home-carer model with little State support, meaning women rely on individual (re)sources. The distribution of un/paid work is a private problem variously resolved by individual (gendered) strategies. This research contributes to knowledge by providing feminist analysis and understanding of the low female workforce participation rate.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Chile
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD Industries. Land use. Labor