Copyright Sociological Research Online, 1996
Relationships once assumed to be universal have been shattered on the proving ground of the non-western world. As a result there is now a more cautious and less grandiose attitude in theory construction, and a renewed quest for explanations that will stand the test of varying socio-cultural conditions. (1973: p. 6)
...the current status of the comparativist's major independent variable: cultural or societal heterogeneity. Clearly, the variable is N-dimensional, and comparative sociologists have not as yet agreed on the size of N, let alone on the conceptual nature of the dimensions that define N-space. (Hill, 1973: p. 459)
This methodological shortcoming of a narrowly Marxist analysis may be attributed to the fact that the actor and his/her perception and manipulation of organizational relations tends to disappear from sight. (Lane, 1989: p. 27)
Actors do not behave or decide as atoms outside a social context, nor do they adhere slavishly to a script written for them by the particular intersection of social categories that they happen to occupy. Their attempts at purposive action are instead embedded in concrete, on-going systems of social relations. (Granovetter, 1985: p. 487)
...determined by the forms of capital or its contradictions - that is in our view, by historical or national contingencies affecting the way the capitalist mode of production operates and reproduces itself. (Maurice et al., 1986: p. 208)
The notion of dialectical theory used to raise the hair of so-called positivist scholars, who considered it a misguided endeavour to tolerate confusion and arbitrariness, things which were thought of as unscientific. ... By trying to do full justice to real-world events, dialectical theory therefore displays an inherent tension between the ambition to reduce contradictions and the recognition that this has clear limits. (Sorge, 1994: p. 3)
...there are common features shared by firms in a particular country though they use different types of technology. ... the explanation of these similarities lies not in the effects of some sort of invisible hand or teleological principle but rather in the systematic structure of social factors influencing both the formation of the actors and the development of the industrial work system, factors that are at once the result of specific social relations and the cause of those relations.' (Maurice et al., 1986: pp. 78-9)
Although market economies involve similar objective conflicts of interest between employers and employed, these contradictions appear to have different implications for the workers' perception of the firm in different societies. ... The effects of institutional structure are not, then, mechanical, but are conditional upon certain cultural contexts. (1978: p. 206)
De-commodification occurs when a service is rendered as a matter of right, and when a person can maintain a livelihood without reliance on the market. (Esping-Anderson, 1990: pp. 21-2)
[The] theoretical core is firmly rooted in capital-labour divisions in a capitalist system, based around the relationship of (male, standard) workers to markets as modified by the welfare state. (1995: p. 267)
...to a system of social relations rather than individuals, since it is presumed that it is at the level of a social system that gender relations may be explained, not that of individual men, nor that of discrete social institutions. (1986: p. 51)
The degree and pattern of job segregation in any country are historically determined, but the persistence of job segregation from now on should be regarded as a reflection of women's own preferences and choices. (Hakim, 1991: pp. 114-5)(author's italics)
means that we need to understand the way in which the system of industrial, labour market and family organization interrelate and the role of the society's political and social values in maintaining these relationships before we could expect to make sense of the differences between countries in the position of women. (1988: p. 253)
...a focus on the construction of gender categories at the highest level (i.e. the state) often yields fruitful insights about cross-national variation, particularly if it is combined with an historically informed study of political actors and institutions. Such an approach thus links an institutionalist perspective, emphasizing national diversity, with a universalist focus on a division of labour in which masculinity is associated with power. (Lane, 1993: p. 276)
...it was the strong commitment of women to political life (parties and trade unions) that enabled the Swedish women to widen the scope of thinking on equality to women on the one hand and to the private world of the family on the other (Jenson 1991); this is the reason for the equal entitlement of both sexes to parental leave, and for the development of task sharing within the family and of child care facilities. Jenson (1991) sees in this a difference from France where, in the absence of any real link between the feminist movement and political power (and even the trade unions), demand for equality between the sexes have remained confined to the world of production, where labour legislation has traditionally been relatively neutral and little influenced by the great political debates. (1995: p. 60)
Rather than thinking in terms of a transition from the 'traditional' to the 'modern', or some evolution of distinct modes of production, such as capitalism and patriarchy, we need to focus on the ways in which structures of constraint stabilize and destabilize each other. ... we need to ask how given groups interact in processes of political change and economic growth. Sets of assets, rules, norms, and preferences that enforce membership in given groups define the context for both market exchange and state planning. They set the stage for contest among competing distributional coalitions. (1994: p. 81)
2 See Moss, 1990; Barrere- Maurisson et al., 1989; Schmid et al., 1992; Reissert, 1993; Bradshaw et al., 1993; Dex et al., 1993.
3 Dore, 1973; Gallie, 1978; 1983; Maurice et al., 1982; Whitley, 1992a; 1992b; Musesduttir, 1995.
4 Grimshaw, 1973: p. 9; Tayeb, 1988: pp. 42-3.
5 Marx and Engles (1977).
6 Marx (1988: pp. 15-16).
Eine Nation soll und kann von der andern lernen. Auch wenn eine Gesellschaft dem Naturegesetz ihrer Bewegung auf die Spur gekommen ist - und es ist der letzte Endzweck dieses Werks, das ökonomische Bewegungsgesetz der modernen Gesellschaft zu enthüllen -, kann sie naturgemäße Entwicklungsphasen weder überspringen noch wegdekretieren. Aber sie kann die Geburtswehen abkuerzen und mildern.7 Marx, K and Engles, F. (1977)
A nation should and can learn from others. Furthermore, when a society identifies the natural laws of its development - and the ultimate goal of this work is to reveal the economic laws that govern the motion of modern society -, it can neither skip over nor outlaw the objective stages of development. But it can shorten and ameliorate the birth pains.' (author's translation)
8 See Walby (1986) and Sargent (1981) for a good summary of these debates; Hartmann (1981); Folbre (1994).
9 See Folbre (1994) for a comparison of Northern Europe, the US, Latin American and the Caribbean.
10 Pfau-Effinger (1993); Tilly and Scott (1987); Einhorn (1993).
11 In fact one important trend as societies have become increasingly more wealthy, as measured in GNP, is for there to be a decline in the birth rate (Folbre, 1994).
12 See Lawrence and Lorsch (1967); Woodward (1965; 1970); Hickson et al. (1979).
13 Even Peters recognises this (1992: p. 756). He acknowledges the resistance to his ideas from middle managers in the US who would loose their jobs, as well as those working in government organizations.
14 Tayeb, 1988; Lane, 1989.
15 See O'Reilly, 1994, chapter 2 for a more detailed discussion about debates on managerial strategy.
16 See Lammers and Hickson, 1979; Maurice et al., 1982; 1992; Maurice, 1989; 1990; d'Iribarne, 1991.
17 Hofstede tried to hold constant the influence of corporate culture by taking respondents from the same multinational, later identified as IBM.
18 For example, a more authoritarian style of management (i.e. reflected by a high power distance score) is more common in countries like Singapore or even France, but it would be less acceptable in Scandinavian countries.
19 Sorge, 1994; Financial Times, 10/5/94.
20Steedman & Hawkins, 1993; Lane, 1989, chapter 3; Sisson, 1987; Zysman, 1983; Cox, 1986; Quack et al., 1995; Vitols, 1995.
22 See Maurani & Nicole, 1989; Walby, 1989; Cockburn, 1981, as examples of research which show how skill recognition and the use of technology has been gendered in organizations.
23 See Duncan (1995) for a discussion of the importance of regional differences.
24 Where men's employment is the focus of study, gender is not seen to be relevant, although a notable exception to this is the excellent work of Cockburn (1983).
25 For example he argues that as a result of pressures for wage moderation in Sweden 'one might easily imagine a war between (largely) male workers in the private sector and (largely) female workers in the welfare state'(p. 227). For Germany he envisages conflicts between insiders (job-holders) and outsiders (the jobless and inactive), and in the US 'class differences will crystallize more sharply within the various minority groups. As some women become yuppies and some Blacks become bourgeois, the women and Blacks left behind will experience much more keenly the phenomenon of relative deprivation' (pp. 228-9).
26 The reader is referred to Duncan (1995) where these debates and critiques have been well summarized.
27 The case of single parents on income support in the UK is a particularly good example of the problems such categorization creates. The state directly intervenes in the private sphere, through the Child Support Agency, to take resources from men (the fathers), directly out of their wages, and redistribute these to women (the mothers of their children), with the aim of moving these women off the publicly funded income support system. Although Walby claims that in the last century the UK has moved from a system of private to public patriarchy, this case suggests that the British state is trying to reverse this trend. It also illustrates that the distinction between the public and the private is empirically less easy to sustain.
28 See Folbre (1994), Rubery et al. (1996) and Humphries and Rubery (1995) for more detailed critiques of this approach.
29 To suggest that from 1991 onwards women have suddenly being able to exercise more choice than the past hundred years seems a little fallacious.
30 Buchtemann and Quack, 1990; Daune-Richard, 1995; O'Reilly, 1995; Fagan et al., 1995; O'Reilly and Fagan, forthcoming.
31 See also Humphries and Rubery (1984) on the relative autonomy of the social reproduction.
32 Duncan (1995: pp. 270-1) has shown that similar debates have been developing in Scandinavia, but unfortunately much of this work remains in Swedish.
33 Pfau-Effinger prefers to refer to these differences in terms of a gender contract and gender arrangements.
34 In this work I have suggested that such a framework could be called a gendered societal approach.
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