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This article aims to discuss the effects of unpaid reproductive labour on labour productivity and production. We make use of a Marxist approach, recognising in its method…
This article aims to discuss the effects of unpaid reproductive labour on labour productivity and production. We make use of a Marxist approach, recognising in its method and categories the necessary and adequate tools in order to disclose reality. Capitalism is regarded as patriarchal, and patriarchy as a set of social relations that dominate women and women’s labour-power for the benefit of men and capital. We argue that unpaid reproductive labour involves both class and gender struggles, which affect in a contradictory manner the capitalist accumulation process. Such assertion is reached by using an analytical instrument (based on linear algebra) developed in order to observe the impact that an insufficient fulfilment of the workers’ necessities has on labour productivity and production.
The purpose of this paper is to delineates workers’ labour turnover and considerations around work, in a context of informalisation of work, through a case study of…
The purpose of this paper is to delineates workers’ labour turnover and considerations around work, in a context of informalisation of work, through a case study of temporary non-resident farm workers in the deciduous fruit sector in Ceres, South Africa.
The research design is a three-phase exploratory sequential mixed-methods strategy. Findings from 29 in-depth interviews were refined, verified and ranked in four focus groups. These informed grounded indicators in a survey of 200 farm workers employed in peak season and their 887 household members.
Considerations are informed by work-related insecurities, interpersonal workplace relationships and reproductive insecurity in the form of care of others, social linkages and residential insecurity, seemingly hierarchical. The least important considerations most thwart workers’ ability to complete fixed-term contracts and account for over 70 per cent of labour turnover in the form of resignations. In sum, workers experience constrained considerations around work arising from their material, social and economic conditions.
This is the first study on the labour turnover of farm workers in South Africa and the fifth globally. The research gives precedence to the voice of farm workers and is a thick description of workers’ considerations around work.
Studying Cuban urban agriculture is important because empirically investigating existing, innovative projects geared toward sustainability can illuminate the processes…
Studying Cuban urban agriculture is important because empirically investigating existing, innovative projects geared toward sustainability can illuminate the processes that facilitate and inhibit environmental reform. I assess the social costs and benefits, achievements, and ongoing challenges at one urban farm. I highlight the interconnection of societal institutions – including gender relationships and gendered economic structures – that can foster or undermine sustainability projects. My analysis of the social dimensions of environmental problems is based on Ariel Salleh’s theoretical work. She argues that women’s invisible reproductive labor mediates paid labor by maintaining the viability of such labor. My contribution is to add an empirical dimension to her work.
To assess the challenges of urban sustainability, I spent two months conducting participant observation and semi-structured interviews with workers at an urban farm in Havana, Cuba.
I find that culturally prescribed gender divisions of labor are entrenched in Cuban urban agriculture. Women continue to do most of the important, yet unacknowledged, domestic work that maintains the health of agricultural labor. Additionally, the heavier burdens women experience during the second shift restrict their ability to participate in local democratic decision-making processes, thereby limiting their capacity to modify oppressive cultural norms and maintaining the status quo.
Socially just environmental change does not automatically happen when the barriers of capitalism are removed, even if the society bases economic progress on increasing quality of life rather than profit. Instead, socially just environmental change must be a deliberate process that is constantly negotiated, reassessed, and prioritized.
This chapter explores processes of stratification in reproductive healthcare and considers the ways in which mechanisms of inclusion/exclusion shape reproductive…
This chapter explores processes of stratification in reproductive healthcare and considers the ways in which mechanisms of inclusion/exclusion shape reproductive opportunities and experiences. First, I consider the process of “selective inclusion” among sexual minority women. This examination questions the schisms that exist within the sexual minority population in regard to their visibility and legibility in medical, scientific, and public health discourses and constructions of reproductive health. The second process I examine is that of “exclusionary inclusion” among substance using pregnant women who have been collectively deemed “bad breeders” by medical and state authorities and whose reproduction is explicitly monitored, regulated, and criminalized. The final process I discuss is “side-stepping inclusion” which describes the healthcare and consumer decisions of women who circumvent medicalized childbirth experiences by employing the services of a midwife for their pregnancy and birth care. This chapter examines how medicalization, biomedicalization, and de-medicalization dynamically work together to expand and delimit inclusionary processes, emphasizing the spectral and interconnected quality of these processes. By exploring various processes of inclusion that shape reproductive experiences of these disparate and differentially marginalized populations, this chapter provides a conceptual and critical meditation on the ways in which “respectable reproduction” is deployed in reproductive care. In considering these processes of inclusion and the ways in which they are co-produced by medical discourses and practices, scholars may more clearly grasp some fundamental mechanisms of stratification in reproductive healthcare and knowledge production.
This contribution explores the history of women and feminism in the Union for Radical Political Economics (URPE) using concepts from feminist radical political economy. A feminist approach changes the categories of economic analysis to offer a new interpretation of an older history: the formation of the Women’s Caucus. I reread the early history of the feminist project in economics through the lens of social reproduction to understand the influence of life experience on practice, particularly on the 1971 women’s walkout during a URPE conference, and on economic theory. Highlighting women’s multiple roles, as graduate students, mothers, wives, girlfriends, and/or caregivers – but ultimately as women – reveals social reproduction as a site of radical politics and demonstrates the importance of reproductive labor for understanding solidarity. In doing so, the analysis provides an example of how a feminist perspective contributes uniquely to economics.
Russia is one of the few countries where surrogacy is both legal and regulated. Still, volatile legislation and the lack of public acceptance of the practice make…
Russia is one of the few countries where surrogacy is both legal and regulated. Still, volatile legislation and the lack of public acceptance of the practice make surrogacy an experience that is hard to navigate. This chapter presents an exploration of the meanings Russian surrogates attach to their work, remuneration for it, and their relationships with intended parents. Drawing on 23 semi-structured interviews with surrogates, we find that while Russian surrogates frame surrogacy as a job and engage in calculations of a fair price for their services, they provide unrequited care for intended parents and their children and embed surrogacy in the context of their motherhood as a way to provide and care for their own children. In this, Russian surrogates occupy the typical position of a post-Soviet ‘mother-worker’.
The purpose of this paper is to use spatial thinking (space-time) as a lens through which to examine the ways in which the socio-economic conditions and values of the…
The purpose of this paper is to use spatial thinking (space-time) as a lens through which to examine the ways in which the socio-economic conditions and values of the post-Fordist academy work to diminish and even subsume the immaterial affective labour of librarians even as it serves to reproduce the academy.
The research question informing this paper asks, In what ways does spatial thinking help us to better understand the immaterial, invisible and gendered labour of academic librarians' public service work in the context of the post-Fordist university? This question is explored using a conceptual approach and a review of recent library information science (LIS) literature that situates the academic library in the post-Fordist knowledge economy.
The findings suggest that the feminized and gendered immaterial labour of public service work in academic libraries – a form of reproductive labour – remains invisible and undervalued in the post-Fordist university, and that academic libraries function as a procreative, feminized spaces.
Spatial thinking offers a corrective to the tendency in LIS to foreground time over space. It affords new insights into the spatial and temporal aspects of information work in the global neoliberal knowledge economy and suggests a new spatio-temporal imaginary of the post-Fordist academic library as a site of waged work.
In theorizing the dynamics of social processes, dialectical thinking informs Marx's historical materialist inquiries and both – dialectics and historical materialist…
In theorizing the dynamics of social processes, dialectical thinking informs Marx's historical materialist inquiries and both – dialectics and historical materialist principles – inform his political–economic analysis. In conceptualizing empirical observations during this work, Marx (1973b, p. 101) assumes that the “concrete is concrete because it is the concentration of many determinations, hence unity of the diverse” and that “With the varying degree of development of productive power, social conditions and the laws governing them vary too” (Marx, 1992, p. 28). This methodological tack strives for the flexibility needed for analyzing patterns in long-term social development (the structure of history) as well as the logic of specific systems in their totality and flux (the history of structures).