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Title: Women's deviation from gendered social norms : assembly plant employment in Tehuacan, Mexico
Author: Covarrubias Feregrino, Arlette
ISNI:       0000 0004 2735 1716
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2010
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The objective of the research is to deepen the understanding on how social norms influence wives’s freedom to achieve well-being through their participation in salaried vs. reproductive and traditional self employment activities. The capability approach is used as a framework of thought and as a means to assess wives welfare. Thus the research site was based in two towns belonging to the Tehuacán region. Following the NAFTA treaty in 1994, Tehuacán experienced a surge of textile assembly plants. These offered salaried job opportunities for women in rural towns of the area where previously they where non existent. Information was gathered initially by applying in depth interviews followed by a representative survey. Social norms are defined as informal moral rules that are enforced by social approval and disapproval. Findings indicate that in both towns, three main moral arguments sustain the norm discouraging wives’ participation in assembly plants. The first indicates that wives are home makers. The second states that women working for assembly plants are promiscuous. The last refers to men’s obligation as breadwinners. Further, two mechanisms by which social norms influence individuals are recognized: internalization of the moral arguments and social sanctions (criticism and gossip) by different reference groups. Additionally, because wives live in households they bargain their participation in assembly plants with their husbands. Thus the influence of social norms on each, wives and husbands was investigated as well as on their decision making process. Biprobit regressions relating the extent to which each spouse disagrees with the prevailing moral arguments to the probability of wives’ participation in assembly plants were estimated. Further, the impact social sanctions of each identified reference group have on wives’ probability to work for assembly plants were calculated using Probit Regressions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available