Korpi2000.pdf - WALTER KORPI Faces of Inequality Gender Class and Patterns of Inequalities in Different Types of Welfare States Abstract This paper

Korpi2000.pdf - WALTER KORPI Faces of Inequality Gender...

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WALTER KORPI Faces of Inequality: Gender, Class, and Patterns of Inequalities in Different Types of Welfare States Abstract This paper combines gender and class in an analysis of patterns of inequalities in different types of welfare states. The development of gendered agency inequality with respect to democratic politics, tertiary education, and labor force participation is analyzed in 18 OECD countries. Class inequality is described in terms of dispos- able household income. The paper develops a new typology of wel- fare states based on institutional structures of relevance for gender inequality as well as class inequality. The combination of gender and class throws new light on the driving forces behind inequalities and on the role of welfare states in this context. The study of the causes and consequences of inequality has traditionally focused on the role of socioeconomic class in the distri- bution of our worldly goods. In this context public policies, espe- cially those reflected in the development of different types of welfare states, have been seen as major intervening variables. In recent years, however, in the social sciences as well as in history, feminist scholars have criticized mainstream analyses of inequality and welfare states for their neglect of gender aspects (Fraser 1989; Gordon 1990; Social Politics Summer 2000 © 2000 Oxford University Press
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128 • Korpi Hernes 1987; Hobson 1990; Leira 1992; Lewis 1992, 1997; O'Con- nor 1993, 1996; Orloff 1993; Pateman 1988; Sainsbury 1996; Shaver 1989; Siim 1988; Williams 1995). They have forcefully ar- gued that gender is one of the important factors that must be consid- ered in analyses of inequality and welfare states. Yet few if any of them maintain that gender should replace factors such as class, race, and ethnicity in the study of distributive processes. Instead there seems to be a growing consensus that gender as well as class, ethnic- ity, and race are all socially constructed properties and that each of them must be brought into the analysis without excluding the others (e.g., O'Connor, Orloff, and Shaver 1999). Against such a back- ground this paper attempts to integrate gender and class into a macro-level analysis of different dimensions of inequality and exam- ines the ways in which these two factors interact with different types of welfare states in the distributive processes. In such an effort we face major challenges with respect to the conceptualization of in- equality, the development of typologies of welfare states of relevance for gender as well as class, the analysis of the driving forces behind inequality, and the unit to be used in analyses of inequality. One of the challenges posed by an attempt to combine gender and class in the analysis of social differentiation is how to widen the conceptualization of inequality, now often routinely confined to differences in terms of occupational standing and material standards of living. While inequalities with respect to advantage rooted in the division of labor within the sphere of production have been and re-
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