The marketisation of life: entangling social reproduction theory and regimes of patriarchy through women’s work in post-Soviet Uzbekistan

Lombardozzi, Lorena (2021). The marketisation of life: entangling social reproduction theory and regimes of patriarchy through women’s work in post-Soviet Uzbekistan. Review of International Political Economy (Early Access).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09692290.2021.1910063

Abstract

Despite the important International Political Economy (IPE) scholarship on the impact of neoliberal marketisation on women in the Global South, the linkages with reproductive and informal work are often neglected as well as its interaction with multi-level varieties of patriarchy. Developing a theoretical framework merging social reproduction theory (Bhattacharya, 2017; Mezzadri, 2020) and varieties of gender regimes (Brown, 1981; Walby,1990;2020; Kocabicak, 2020), this paper examines how women navigate market and non-market pressures during recent processes of Uzbek agrarian marketisation. By applying the concept of domestic and public patriarchy to analyse the gendered practices of food production and reproduction in Uzbekistan, it unpacks the household-led and state-led forms of dispossession and exploitation of women’s work in the everyday life (LeBaron, 2010; Kuntz, 2010) and investigates why women’s position has not improved (Kandiyoti 1998; 2003; Trevisani, 2008) as a result of marketisation. The paper contributes to feminist IPE in two ways. By bringing together two strands of gender theories, it reflects on the institutional and cultural connotation and economic ‘valuation’ of women’s work. Along these lines, it examines the weaknesses of the policy solutions proposed by the neoliberal development governance in the Global South.

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