Past event

Knox Lecture 2023 Social Reproduction and the Politics of Care

The 2023 Knox Lecture will be delivered by Professor Sally Haslanger (MIT).
Title: “Social Reproduction and the Politics of Care”.
Abstract: For decades, socialist feminists have insisted that an adequate approach to any economy, and especially to capitalism, must involve attention to social reproduction, i.e., to “the activities and attitudes, behaviors and emotions, and responsibilities and relationships directly involved in maintaining life, on a daily basis and intergenerationally” (Brenner and Laslett 1991). Debates over social reproduction typically begin with a critique of Marxism, arguing that wage labor crucially depends on the production of the laborer, which is done mainly by women, but mostly ignored by Marx. One approach to social reproduction is to locate it within patriarchy, which is thought to be one of several interacting systems (others include capitalism and White supremacy). In this talk, I will argue it is better to understand our current social formation as a single (patriarchal, capitalist, White supremacist) system, and will discuss why this matters for developing a political agenda around care work.