Dilemmas of Value in Post-Industrial Economies: Retrieving Clock Time Through the Four-Day Work Week?

Grabham, Emily
May 2010
Connecticut Law Review;May2010, Vol. 42 Issue 4, p1285
This Essay approaches the four-day work week from a feminist labor law perspective. Ostensibly, progressive measures such as this provide the potential for working women to better balance their "home" and "work" lives. The reality, however, for a great number of low-income and marginally employed women in post-industrial economies in the United States and United Kingdom is far bleaker than such an analysis suggests. For the underclass of women workers, measures adjusting the working day or working week have little relevance because these workers have irregular hours and little employment protection. This Essay advances the provocative suggestion that feminists accept the irregular work that low-paid women do for what it is. It suggests that we think and organize on the basis of shifting our concepts of value to prioritize hitherto low-paid work in service industries, for example, instead of changing working hours to allow middle-class women to continue performing dual roles in the market and in unpaid care.


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