For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Work Through a Gender Lens: More Work and More Sources of Meaningfulness"

by Hofmeister, Heather (2019)


This chapter argues that the definition of work, and its meaningfulness potential, broaden when using a gender perspective. The historical legacy of gender differentiation in work results in blindness to activities that are “work” and to gender inequality within kinds of work. An inclusive definition of “work” would be activities or thoughts that affirm life and growth, imagine or create the future, or abate or delay death and decay. At least nineteen types of work are identified: formal paid work; informal paid work; crowdwork; unpaid on-call or overtime work; networking; volunteering; political advocacy; informal helping; caregiving; emotion work; kinkeeping work; housework; consumer work; archival work; hired work on the self; aesthetic work; self-branding; self-care; and slavery. A gender-sensitive definition of meaningful work would be activities that are consciously experienced as aligned with deeply held values, taking into consideration that values and gender norms that can influence values are socially constructed.


Meaningful Work, Gendered Labour, Division Of Labour, Domestic Labour, Housework, Informal Labour, Unpaid Labour, Overtime Work, Volunteerism, Aesthetic Labour, Slavery


Links to Reference



How to contribute.