Global processes and local lives: Guatemalan women's work and gender relations at home and abroad

Cecilia Menjívar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In this paper I address an important aspect of the link between the larger process of globalization and work. I focus on how globalization has affected the lives of Guatemalan women of different class backgrounds and ethnicities in Guatemala and in Los Angeles, through an examination of the link between paid work and household work. Data for this article come from eighty-six in-depth interviews with indigenous and ladina women and from ethnographic field work I conducted in Los Angeles and in two regions of Guatemala. There are certain aspects of earning an income among the women in this study that emerge in both contexts, perhaps due to the demands of contemporary capitalism on workers around the world. My observations indicate that whereas the experiences of women and femininities are played out in the context of global economic relations, they are experienced differently in diverse sites and within the same context by individuals of different class and ethnic backgrounds. Thus, experiences of globalization through work are very much localized; they are historically and culturally situated and interact with broader processes in dissimilar fashion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-105
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Labor and Working-Class History
StatePublished - Oct 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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