For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

References for Theme: Feminism

  • Brewis, Joanna
  • Jaggar, Alison M
    • Feminist Politics and Human Nature (1983)
      (p.155) The sexual division of labor in different societies has varied so widely that it is notoriously difficult to construct general economic categories for understanding women's work cross-culturally, but one might suppose that it would be easier to develop categories explaining the sexual division of labor within a given society. Even in the case of contemporary industrial society, however, it is far from obvious how to provide a general and illuminating characterization of women's work that goes beyond the tautology that it is done by women.
    • Feminist Politics and Human Nature (1983)
      (p.74) The traditional Marxist categories were not designed to capture the essential features of the sexual division of labor, and it is doubtful whether they are capable of doing the job. Within the public economy, for instance, there is in fact a sharp separation between jobs that are considered appropriate for men and those that are considered suitable for women; men and women rarely work side by side at the same job. The gender-blind categories of Marxist theory, however, obscure rather than reveal this fact. Even more seriously, the central Marxist categories hardly apply at all to the household, which is...
    • Feminist Politics and Human Nature (1983)
      (p.78) By obscuring women's oppression, Marxist theory provides a rationale for its perpetuation. The biologistic conception of procreation legitimates women's continuing responsibility for procreative labor. This responsibility, in turn, hinders women's full participation in nonprocreative labor and legitimates sexsegregation in that sphere. At the same time, the biologistic conception of procreation leads to the devaluation of procreative labor: women's work may be socially necessary, but it is not fully historical and hence not fully human work.
    • Feminist Politics and Human Nature (1983)
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