“The volume is essential - not because it provides simple answers but because it clearly establishes the tremendous challenges that face such research.”
—American Journal of Archaeology
Prehistoric economic relationships are often presented as genderless, yet mounting research highlights the critical role gendered identities play in the division of work tasks and the development of specialized production in pre-modern economic systems. In Gendered Labor in Specialized Economies, contributors combine the study of gender in the archaeological record with the examination of intensified craft production in prehistory to reassess the connection between craft specialization and the types and amount of work that men and women performed in ancient communities.
Chapters are organized by four interrelated themes crucial for understanding the implications of gender in the organization of craft production: craft specialization and the political economy, combined effort in specialized production, the organization of female and male specialists, and flexibility and rigidity in the gendered division of labor. Contributors consider how changes to the gendered division of labor in craft manufacture altered other types of production or resulted from modifications in the organization of production elsewhere in the economic system.
Striking a balance between theoretical and methodological approaches and presenting case studies from sites around the world, Gendered Labor in Specialized Economies offers a guide to the major issues that will frame future research on how men’s and women’s work changes, predisposes, and structures the course of economic development in various societies.
Contributors: Alejandra Alonso Olvera, Traci Ardren, Michael G. Callaghan, Nigel Chang, Cathy Lynne Costin, Pilar Margarita Hernández Escontrías, A. Halliwell, Sue Harrington, James M. Heidke, Sophia E. Kelly, Brigitte Kovacevich, T. Kam Manahan, Ann Brower Stahl, Laura Swantek, Rita Wright, Andrea Yankowski