For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Functionalist, Determinist, Reductionist: Social Reproduction Feminism and its Critics"

by Arruzza, Cinzia (2016)


Abstract The notion of social reproduction articulated by Marxist feminists within a unitary theory of gender oppression and capitalism has been accused in the past of being either functionalist or economic and biological determinist. These accusations were based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the Marxist notions of production and reproduction and on a reified understanding of what a capitalist society is. Moreover, often those who have criticized the Marxist feminist understanding of social reproduction have not been able to offer a solid alternative and have ended up in even greater theoretical impasses, particularly exemplified by dual and triple systems theories. On the contrary, the notion of social reproduction has the potential to avoid these impasses, while at the same time suggesting a non-reductionist account of the capitalist mode of production: one in which capital is not seen as the subject of a strictly ?economic? process.

Key Passage



Feminism, Feminist Theory, Women'S Work, Gendered Labour, Female Labour, Feminist Political Economy, Social Reproduction, Marxist-Feminist Analysis, Functionalism, Reductionism, Marxism


Social Reproduction, Feminist Political Economy

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