Feminism as Capital: Gender, Class and Mobility for Women in Paid Care Work

By Kate Huppatz.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper draws on research conducted with thirty-nine self-identified working-class and middle-class women who work and study in the field of paid caring work in order to reflect on the relevance of feminism for contemporary Australian women. It examines variations in women’s attitudes to feminism by comparing and contrasting the narratives of women from different class and educational backgrounds and it explores the role of education in disseminating feminist knowledge. Moreover, this paper examines in detail the attitudes that women in senior posts in the paid caring field have to feminism; and examines whether feminism has played a role in their career success. Finally, this paper draws on the findings to put forward an argument for a Bourdieusian conceptualisation of the value of feminism. It is suggested that the contemporary relevance of feminism might be better understood if it is reconceptualised as capital; for this enables feminism to be seen as an everyday cultural resource for women.

Keywords: Feminism, Class, Gender, Paid Caring, Capital, Bourdieu

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 3, Issue 5, pp.121-126. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 573.216KB).

Kate Huppatz

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Faculty of Education and Social Work, Sydney University, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Dr. Kate Huppatz is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Sydney. Her research and theoretical interests include the sociology of gender, class and work, the relationship between gender and class, femininity, Pierre Bourdieu, Judith Butler and feminist theory. She has taught undergraduate sociology courses on gender, class, identity, family, postmodernity and globalisation.


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