Kinnear details how ordinary women - including early pioneers, East European immigrants, Native women, and professional women - lived and what they thought of the world of work, often telling their stories in their own words. She highlights the cultural and economic expectations for women and juxtaposes the activities society deemed suitable for women with what they actually did. Kinnear argues that a host of factors, such as class and ethnicity, differentiated their choices but that these women shared many common experiences. While women's own views furnish the main theme, A Female Economy contributes to a developing debate in feminist economics. By focusing on women's experiences in the sexually segregated economy of a Canadian province at the geographic centre of Canada, Kinnear furnishes a paradigm for women's economic activity in most western industrializing societies at the time.