Review by Choice Review
Brydon and Chant have produced an ambitious overview of the literature of women's status in the context of development and underdevelopment. Household, production, reproduction, and migration are used as generative themes through which the reader is led to an appreciation of issues in the lives of rural and urban Third World women, as these issues have been identified by feminist scholars over the last two decades. Planning for development is evaluated in terms of the impact on women's lives. The authors caution against the application of Western indicators of status, and they draw from their own fieldwork experiences in Africa and Mexico. However, this work, like many of the feminist discussions the authors employ, is "riddled" with Western sexual, economic, and social categories in its representation. As Aiwah Ong stated in a 1988 article, women in the Third World are living according to their own "interpretation of a changing world," and are not simply, "acted upon by inherited traditions and modernization projects." With this caveat, Brydon and Chant provide a succinct, well-researched introduction to thought in the field of women in development. It is an accessible work and does not assume familiarity with specialized language. Appropriate for introductory-level students in women's studies, economics, anthropology, or geography courses. L. De Danaan Evergreen State College
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.