Manufacturing Inequality: Gender Division in the French and British Metalworking Industries, 1914-1939

Front Cover
Cornell University Press, 1995 - History - 329 pages
0 Reviews
Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified
Manufacturing Inequality compares the complex historical process whereby metals employers in two distinct national and cultural settings first brought women into their factories and then reorganized work procedures and managerial structures to accommodate the new workforce. Drawing from an extensive range of previously untapped industrial archives, Laura Lee Downs analyzes how sexual difference was transformed from a principle for excluding women into a basis for dividing labor within the newly restructured production process. She explores the origins of wage discrimination and occupational segregation through the lens of managerial strategy, tracing the gendered redefinition of job skills, the division of the shop floor into hierarchically ordered spaces, the deployment of women welfare supervisors, and the implantation of scientific management techniques. Through its detailed comparative analysis of employers' attitudes toward women workers, Manufacturing Inequality mounts a careful critique of both neoclassical economics and feminist dual systems as frameworks for understanding gender discrimination in industry.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


War and the Rationalization of Work
Equal Opportunity Denied
Toward an Epistemology of Skill
Unraveling the Sacred Union
s Welfare Supervision and Labor Discipline 19161918
Demobilization and the Reclassification of Labor 19181920
The Schizophrenic Decades 19201939
The Limits of Labor Stratification in Interwar Britain
Archives and Government Publications Cited

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1995)

Laura Lee Downs is Associate Professor of History at the University of Michigan.

Bibliographic information