Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Social Work


Sociology, Social Structure and Development.


Phillips, Lynne,




Since the 1980s many countries in Latin America have attempted to deal with debt and economic crises through a variety of measures. One of these has been the promotion of non-traditional agricultural exports. In Ecuador the most dynamic of these crops in terms of growth has been fresh cut flowers. The flower plantations which have sprung up mainly in the highlands near Quito employ thousands of people, the majority of them women. This thesis looks at the effects this employment has had on a small number of women in El Rosario, an indigenous rural community near Cayambe, Ecuador. The focus is on the changing gender, household and in this industry. Through an analysis which community relations of the women employed views the household as the location from which the individual is linked to the community and the larger economy we see how households are restructured according to the demands and conditions of its members. Through case studies I show the ambivalent relationship of the community of El Rosario towards the flower industry and those it employs; the change in women's domestic work; and, the commodification of the countryside and its effects on women's roles. All of these factors will be examined in light of their vulnerability as women workers in a global economy. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 39-02, page: 0420. Adviser: Lynne Phillips. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1998.