Gender and Globalization; Maquila (Sweatshop) Workers; Human Rights and Social Justice in El Salvador, Qualitative Feminist Research
Ph.D., Brandeis University
M.A., Brandeis University
B.S., Boston University
Curriculum Vitae (pdf)
Louise Levesque Lopman is Professor Emerita of Sociology at Regis College in Weston, Massachusetts where she taught and chaired the Department of Sociology, and established the Women’s Studies Program which she directed for five years. She was awarded several faculty research grants, one of which supported her sabbatical research in El Salvador where she was also an International Observer in the Salvadoran presidential elections
Louise was a Visiting Research Scholar at the Wellesley College Center for Research on Women and a Visiting Professor of Sociology at Brandeis University. An active member for many years in the Society of Phenomenology and the Human Sciences (SPHS), Louise was among the first to legitimize feminist phenomenology. She was also SPHS Co-chair, Program Chair, and member of the Editorial Board. A Scholar at the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis since 1993, Louise has also been the Scholar Cohort and Mentoring Coordinator and a member and chair of numerous WSRC committees and study groups.
Louise’s current scholarship intersects with feminist sociology/phenomenology, qualitative research, and activism. Her manuscript-in-progress is the outcome of her study of the subjective lived experience of women maquila (“sweatshop”) workers in El Salvador who sew and assemble apparel for export from free trade zones to U. S. retailers. It also explores impacts of corporate globalization and other neoliberal policies - “free” trade agreements, trade liberalization, privatization, and financial institutions - on the people of El Salvador, but especially on poor women. Louise’s in-depth interviews and observations go beyond mere description of human rights and worker rights violations on the shop floor; they embrace the ways women translate those experiences into creative agency for achieving dignity, human rights, and social justice as as workers and as women.
El Salvador Not For Sale: Women Maquila (Sweatshop) Workers and the Struggle for Dignity, Human Rights, and Social Justice explores impacts of “free” trade agreements and other neoliberal policies on women and their struggle to win workers’ rights. Research includes interviews with workers, labor organizers, and members of women’s organizations, and observations in the maquila that manufactures for The GAP.
Lopman, Louise. “Women Combatants and the Emergence of Gender Awareness in Postconflict El Salvador.” Brandeis Gender and Development Forum, 2, 1 (March 2008)
Lopman, Louise. “Listen, and You Will Hear: Reflections on Interviewing from a Feminist Phenomenological Perspective.” Feminist Phenomenology, edited by Linda Fisher and Lester Embree. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2000. 103-32.