Pearson, G. and MANDERSON, L. (eds) 1987. Class, Ideology and Women in Asian Societies.
Asian Studies Monograph Series. Hong Kong: Asian Research Service.
This collection deals with women’s experiences in a variety of countries of the greater Asian region: from Turkey to Java. These include some of the poorest nations in the world, to the wealthiest and the most technologically advanced, Japan. Women’s and men’s experiences, the social relations of the sexes, the construction of gender and the roles and behaviours of omen and men that derive from this, differing according to culture, and the way that each culture has been shaped by historical, economic, and political circumstance. The subordination of women as a generalised percept is near universal throughout Asia, but the differences in the institutionalisation and ideological elaboration of their subordination preclude strict comparison. Yet a reading of the experiences of women in Asia highlights two related and recurrent themes: the first, changes in the participation of women in production as a result of capital penetration; the second, the use of traditional ideologies of gender to determine the direction of these changes and retrospectively to legitimate them. These themes are echoed in the chapters that comprise this volume. Although not necessarily explicated by each author, the key issues raised and explored in this volume are the ways in which women’s position is affected by class (the relations of production) and by the ideology of both class and gender.