Other affiliations: University of Copenhagen, Cornell University, Princeton University
Bio: Rina Agarwala is an academic researcher from Johns Hopkins University. The author has contributed to research in topic(s): Globalization & Collective action. The author has an hindex of 13, co-authored 29 publication(s) receiving 907 citation(s). Previous affiliations of Rina Agarwala include University of Copenhagen & Cornell University.
01 Nov 2011-Contemporary Sociology
TL;DR: A broader view on gender inequalities and the production of wellbeing, with the capability approach serving as the theoretical connection between the chapters, is presented in this paper. But the description of the theory remains lacking amidst numerous references that point the reader towards clarification elsewhere.
Abstract: Gender inequality remains both a pressing social issue and a fruitful area of social science research. This edited volume seeks to examine gender inequality and the production of well-being in Europe from an interdisciplinary perspective that is perhaps more feminist economics than sociology. The chapters draw on historical and contemporary European examples and offer a somewhat different take (both theoretically and methodologically) on what is usually found in American sociology journals. This book takes a broader view on gender inequalities and the production of wellbeing, with the ‘‘capability approach’’ serving as the theoretical connection between the chapters. The chapters reemphasize that social reproduction is more complex than the production of goods. The various authors also call for and (in the empirical chapters) take into account the socio-political and economic context. An entire chapter is dedicated to the introduction of the capability approach (Chapter Two). But the description of the theory remains lacking amidst numerous references that point the reader towards clarification elsewhere. The authors posit that well-being is an important outcome, and that the production of well-being itself needs to be included in the study of gender inequality (Chapter One), while also demanding that women are not just another vulnerable group (Chapter Four). Chapter Three further challenges conventional notions about the evolution of the ‘‘modern family’’ in the wake of the industrialization process, and argues that the fragility of families is not a novel concept. These theoretical chapters call for a more multidimensional assessment of gender inequality, and remind readers of the importance of the concept and production of well-being. The topics covered in the two empirical parts of the book are very diverse in terms of subject, methodology, and historical time period. The first empirical section ‘‘Gender Care and Work’’ is held together by the challenge to the idea of women as passive victims and in need of assistance. Chapter Five demonstrates widows’ relative economic independence in urban Sweden and Finland from 1890 to 1910, and Chapter Six shows the centrality of female relatives in caring for extended family members in times of crisis. Chapter Seven reaffirms the idea that intergenerational support is not one-sided, and those often thought of as needing care due to older age are also givers of care and other forms of support. The findings from the chapters emphasize the importance of non-monetary transfers outside the market system. The theme of caregiving is readdressed in later chapters which illustrate how home caregiving in Belgium is situated between the public/market divide (Chapter Nine) and the problems of combining market work with caregiving, especially for those in the ‘‘sandwich generation’’ (Chapter Ten). In a seeming departure from studies in the capability approach tradition, Chapter Eight is a more typical time-use study that examines the gender asymmetry in unpaid labor in Italy. The results are not novel as women are found to do more unpaid work, especially in couples with children. The second empirical part of the book focuses on the intra-household allocation of resources. Three of the five chapters in this section center primarily on the nineteenth century, examining consumption patterns in Spain (Chapter 11), gender differences in children’s schooling in Switzerland (Chapter 12), and the differences in the treatment of and opportunities for celibate men and women in the Pyrenees (Chapter 13). These chapters illustrate gender differences, but not in
•08 Apr 2013
TL;DR: Agarwala et al. as mentioned in this paper argue that Indian informal workers are using their power as voters to demand welfare benefits from the state, rather than demanding traditional work benefits from employers.
Abstract: Since the 1980s, the world's governments have decreased state welfare and thus increased the number of unprotected 'informal' or 'precarious' workers. As a result, more and more workers do not receive secure wages or benefits from either employers or the state. This book offers a fresh and provocative look into the alternative social movements informal workers in India are launching. It also offers a unique analysis of the conditions under which these movements succeed or fail. Drawing from 300 interviews with informal workers, government officials and union leaders, Rina Agarwala argues that Indian informal workers are using their power as voters to demand welfare benefits from the state, rather than demanding traditional work benefits from employers. In addition, they are organizing at the neighborhood level, rather than the shop floor, and appealing to 'citizenship', rather than labor rights.
01 Jun 2006-Social Forces
TL;DR: This article used confirmatory factor analysis to determine whether items thought to measure autonomy in fact form a reliable measure of autonomy, whether the relationship between multiple dimensions of autonomy are strong enough to justify a discussion of autonomy as a single underlying construct, and whether comparative research on autonomy is possible between two countries (India and Pakistan).
Abstract: Women's autonomy has long been a central concern for researchers examining the social position of women in developing countries. However, little emphasis has been placed on the measurement of autonomy, despite its importance for assessing the validity of comparative research. In this research, we use confirmatory factor analyses to determine (1) whether items thought to measure autonomy in fact form a reliable measure of autonomy, (2) whether the relationship between multiple dimensions of autonomy are strong enough to justify a discussion of autonomy as a single underlying construct, and (3) whether comparative research on autonomy is possible between two countries (India and Pakistan). We find that our indicators capture four distinct dimensions of autonomy that are moderately related, and that, while the model structures replicate fairly well across the two countries we study, there are measurement differences that make comparative research challenging.
19 May 2009
TL;DR: In this article, the authors apply a relational definition of informal labor to the case of India, using the National Sample Survey on Employment and Unemployment, as well as findings from interviews with organized informal workers.
Abstract: Purpose – This chapter illustrates how an economic sociology of work exposes the deeply embedded nature of the informal economy and the social and political lives of its growing mass of unprotected workers under globalization. In particular, the premises of economic sociology offer a comprehensive definition of the informal economy that I term, “relational.” In contrast to definitions based on modernization and neoliberal assumptions of isolated economies, relational definitions of the informal economy expose the structures, networks, and political institutions that intertwine informal workers with the formal economy, society, and the state. Operationalizing the relational definition in labor surveys ensures the inclusion of previously invisible informal workers, especially those who operate at the intersection of the informal and formal economy. As well, it ensures the collection of data on the precise ways in which informal workers are socially and politically embedded, including their collective action efforts, the meaning they attach to their labor, and the social networks that determine their life chances. Methodology – To illustrate this point, I apply a relational definition of informal labor to the case of India, using the National Sample Survey on Employment and Unemployment, as well as findings from interviews with organized informal workers. Findings – By doing so, I provide an internationally comparative measure of India's informal workforce, illustrate informal workers’ social conditions relative to those of formal workers, highlight the expansion of the informal workforce since the government enacted liberalization reforms, and expose the unique political action strategies Indian informal workers are launching against the state. Implications/Originality – These findings help us understand Indian informal workers in an internationally comparative context, yielding empirical insights on their social conditions and political organizations for the first time. As well, they call for an important refinement to existing definitions of the informal economy that to date have relied only on Latin American and African experiences.
01 Dec 2006-Critical Asian Studies
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors examined the growing population of informally employed workers as a class and found that the decreasing proportion of formally employed workers (and the subsequent rise in informal employment) signifies a decline in all class-based organization.
Abstract: The rigidity of early class analysis and the recent demise of any type of class analytics have turned attention away from examining the growing population of informally employed workers as a class. By not examining informal workers as a class “in themselves,” we are losing insights into how they are translating their positions into a class “for themselves.” As a consequence, the recent literature on globalization and liberalization is increasingly concluding that the decreasing proportion of formally employed workers (and the subsequent rise in informal employment) the world over signifies a decline in all class-based organization. Such arguments have obscured our understanding of the current social dynamics of exploitation and resistance. In an attempt to begin filling this gap, this article recovers class as an important analytical tool with which to examine (1) the current relations of power between the state, employers, and the majority of India's workers, and (2) how the structures of produc...
01 Jan 2002
TL;DR: This article investigated whether income inequality affects subsequent growth in a cross-country sample for 1965-90, using the models of Barro (1997), Bleaney and Nishiyama (2002) and Sachs and Warner (1997) with negative results.
Abstract: We investigate whether income inequality affects subsequent growth in a cross-country sample for 1965-90, using the models of Barro (1997), Bleaney and Nishiyama (2002) and Sachs and Warner (1997), with negative results. We then investigate the evolution of income inequality over the same period and its correlation with growth. The dominating feature is inequality convergence across countries. This convergence has been significantly faster amongst developed countries. Growth does not appear to influence the evolution of inequality over time. Outline
01 Jan 2008
TL;DR: In this article, the authors argue that rational actors make their organizations increasingly similar as they try to change them, and describe three isomorphic processes-coercive, mimetic, and normative.
Abstract: What makes organizations so similar? We contend that the engine of rationalization and bureaucratization has moved from the competitive marketplace to the state and the professions. Once a set of organizations emerges as a field, a paradox arises: rational actors make their organizations increasingly similar as they try to change them. We describe three isomorphic processes-coercive, mimetic, and normative—leading to this outcome. We then specify hypotheses about the impact of resource centralization and dependency, goal ambiguity and technical uncertainty, and professionalization and structuration on isomorphic change. Finally, we suggest implications for theories of organizations and social change.
05 Dec 2016
01 Jan 2002