Feminism, Finance and the Work of Reproduction
This article begins to think the groundwork for a revolutionary feminist politics in an era shaped by contemporary finance capital and the increasing financialisation daily life. Conceiving of financialisation as a strategic response to a threat that must be brought under capital’s control through reorganising the exploitation of labour-power, it provides a reading of the seemingly abstract sphere of financial circulation as fundamentally dependent upon the very material and primary labour of reproduction. The article undertakes an analysis of how social reproduction is increasingly financialised today, in ways that play on and reinforce the persistently gendered reality of this work for the purpose of financial accumulation and increasing the profitability of labour. From the gendered targeting of financial instruments, to discursive tropes of women’s pathologies and responsibilities in household financial management, financialisation both creates new terrains of reproductive work and deepens households’ and women’s entanglement with financial markets to ensure their survival. Drawing on the critical writings and political strategies of autonomist feminism, this paper argues that women’s reproductive labour is central to the continued ascendancy of finance capital and, consequently, that feminist struggle’s for autonomy, self-valorisation and socialisation of reproduction are central to its destruction. Understanding what finance means to feminism and, in turn, what feminism might mean to finance today is imperative for a relevant contemporary feminist politics and to effective anti-capitalist strategy alike. This begins with a critical re-examination of the emergence of the hierarchical sexual division of labour particular to capital relations and its status in contemporary finance capital.
Subjectsfinancialisation, social reproduction, gender, autonomist-feminism, finance capital, Wages for Housework
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