For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Affective Labor and Feminist Politics"

by Oksala, Johanna (2016)


This article discusses the political potential of Michael Hardt?s and Antonio Negri?s influential notion of affective labor for feminist theory and politics. The argument proceeds in two stages. I begin by briefly explicating Hardt?s and Negri?s concept of affective labor and outline what I see as its potential benefits for advancing critical feminist thought and political imagination. In the second part of the article I turn to a critical evaluation of the notion in connection with feminist politics. While I acknowledge the strengths of this concept in characterizing contemporary laboring practices, I nonetheless want to expose its shortcomings in advancing feminist politics. I contend that in order to imagine effective political responses to the problems currently facing us, feminist politics needs theoretical distinctions within the category of affective labor that allow us to advance a political and ethical problematization of our current forms of work.


Feminism, Feminist Politics, Hardt, Negri, Foucault, Critical Feminism, Power


On Foucault, Foucault

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