Gendered corrosion of occupational knowledge

Orly Benjamin
  • Equality Diversity and Inclusion An International Journal, April 2016, Emerald
  • DOI: 10.1108/edi-05-2015-0035

The erasure of care related knowledge in contracted out services

What is it about?

While Sennett’s thesis has already been found plausible for understanding public servants’ experiences of the “new public management,” until recently, not enough attention has been devoted to the commissioning processes’ gendered implications for contract-based delivery of services. This paper examines these implications for the power struggle between the feminist achievements protecting skill recognition in caring occupations, and policy makers.

Why is it important?

Beyond its contribution to the understanding of the feminist relevance of Sennett' work, the significance of this article is in clarifying that even if employees maintain their definition of themselves as skilled, without broad feminist support, the political power position of their claim for recognition will remain weak, weakening further the professionalization of service and care occupations.


Prof Orly Benjamin (Author)
Bar Ilan University

I see this paper as supporting Hester Eisenstein's argument in Feminism Seduced explaining how neo-liberal policies cunningly undermines feminist achievements through the legal system promoting contracting out of services. Further, the paper supports Joan Tronto's argument in Caring Democracy indicating how unless care services in the fields of healthcare, education and welfare, would become a major concern for democracy, anti democratic budgeting will continue to systematically destroy all aspects of the democratic state that is committed to protect its citizens in situation of dependency.

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