Gender Relations in the Capitalist Production of the Workplace

Viviane Zerlotini da Silva About the author


This article discusses the social context that gave origin to the workplace, or the exclusive space for the performance of productive activities. The objective is to demonstrate the dependence that the production sphere has on the universe of reproduction and especially how this dependence is obliterated and reinforced by patriarchal relations. I investigate how the labor process and society are organized according to theories of rational organization of labor, and the effects of this on the production of space. The discussion about the origins of workplaces demonstrated that they are linked to the gender division of labor, during the development of commercial capitalism between the twelfth and eighteenth centuries, when old household units – rural household industries – and urban craft workshops were transformed into family businesses by the putting-out system. With the advent of this system, the gender division of labor freed up males for productive activities, while domestic or underpaid tasks were left to women. This was the first social condition that later, in manufacturing, allowed the existence of exclusive production spaces.

Precedence to Reproduction; Workplace; Gender Division of Labor

Núcleo de Estudos de Gênero - Pagu Universidade Estadual de Campinas, PAGU Cidade Universitária "Zeferino Vaz", Rua Cora Coralina, 100, 13083-896, Campinas - São Paulo - Brasil, Tel.: (55 19) 3521 7873, (55 19) 3521 1704 - Campinas - SP - Brazil