Culture, Collectivism and Empowerment: The Role of Feminist Ideologies in Women’s Work and Organization
27 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2021
Date Written: March 1, 2019
In this paper we analyze the role of ideologies in developing a culture of work and organization among disadvantaged women in societies entrenched in structures of patriarchy. We draw on evidence from Lijjat, a women’s cooperative in India. Through a careful consideration of the context and relations in which marginalized women were able to initiate, develop, and successfully operate a business we draw two key conclusions. First, we find that pragmatist feminist ideologies are particularly supportive of women’s economic activities in patriarchal contexts. Second, we introduce a tiered approach to the study of ideological influences on women’s work arguing that these exist both at the individual level (motivation) and at the collective level (organizational practices). Studying the intersection of these tiers enables a better understanding of how poor women’s work and organization can be supported in male-dominated cultures.
Keywords: gender, entrepreneurship, organizational practices, patriarchy, feminist ideologies, pragmatism, collectivism, cooperative, Lijjat, India
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