Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Valorised but not valued? Affective remuneration, social reproduction and feminist politics beyond the crisis

an article by Emma Dowling (Middlesex University, London, UK) published in British Politics Volume 11 Issue 4 (December 2016)


This paper proposes an analytical distinction between modes of valorising and modes of valuing social reproduction to suggest that a conflict between these two opposing modes lies at the heart of an on-going crisis of social reproduction in the face of purported economic recovery, where unpaid reproductive labour constitutes a source of surplus value.

A systemic imperative to expand markets in the pursuit of profitability goes hand in hand with a devaluation of social reproduction, either by making this work invisible or by externalising its cost.

This article analyses the specificities of this process in the context of contemporary Britain and investigates the role of the state, focusing on volunteering and new forms of ‘affective remuneration’ linked to financialisation and the connection between social reproduction and wealth extraction.

In conclusion, the paper outlines the contours of possible counter-practices informed by a feminist politics.

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