Feminist global political economies of work and social reproduction

Mezzadri, Alessandra; Newman, Susan and Stevano, Sara (2022). Feminist global political economies of work and social reproduction. Review of International Political Economy, 29 pp. 1783–1803.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09692290.2021.1957977


The COVID-19 pandemic has confirmed the relevance of social reproduction as a key analytical lens to interrogate contemporary capitalist processes. Building on insights from distinct theoretical traditions, in this introductory contribution to the special issue in Feminist Global Political Economies of Work we propose social reproduction as a prism to examine labour and work in the Global South from a feminist standpoint. We develop a social reproduction-centred methodology to the study of labour processes and relations, based on combined insights from Feminist IPE (FIPE), Feminist Economics (FE), and Feminist Political Economy of Development (FPED). Insights from these three disciplinary frontiers of feminist work are well-equipped to analyse the complexities of labouring in the Global South and how reproductive dynamics co-constitute the 'everyday’ in the global economy in manifold ways. These include relations with the state and (‘crisis’ of) care provisions; the blending of productive and reproductive temporalities of work across labour processes; the continuum of paid/unpaid work within and beyond the household; and novel global processes of commodification of life and the everyday. In setting the contours of this ambitious agenda, we reflects on the complexity of feminist research methods; on positionality and ethics.

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