Negotiating Patriarchy and Globalization: Dynamics of Women's Work in an Agricultural Economy

Nanette G. Dungo


This study explores the rising control women are beginning to experience as subcontracted workers caught in the intersection between a patriarchal home and the equally patriarchal demands of capitalism as globalizing forces persistently penetrate the traditional organization of the sugar farm. Trends of the study are revealing notions of control over self rising among women from holding a job which allows them to negotiate work quota, including a growing autonomy being felt in the traditional conjugal relation, to the raging indignation of men. Women try to balance the demands which are both imperatives in maintaining a settled family life, although the factor of "homework" to increase earnings intrude into the privacy of the home. The outcome of this dialectical struggle causes unending initiatives among women to negotiate work schedules at home and at work, constantly adjusting the demands of the contrasting spaces of "paid work" and domestic work. Such initiatives among women workers are telling of the manner by which women are gradually re-inventing their identity in the context of the changing circumstances of their lives. They are crafting a narrative of their own selves and in the process are slowly taking on more empowering modes of mediating between their life experiences and traditional societal structures.

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