This month we will be reading and discussing the essay “Without Reserves” by Salar Mohandesi and Emma Teitelman. Download a pdf here.
Radical economic analysis has long focused on the conditions and exploitation of workers in the workplace. In the 1970s Marxist-feminists sought to broaden this focus from the production of commodities to the production of life generally. This theoretical intervention, social reproduction theory, particularly highlighted the myriad gendered and often unwaged activities that characterized household labor. Social reproduction theory has now conceptually expanded beyond the household and nuclear family to examine the numerous ways capitalist society is reproduced outside the workplace – whether through gender, race, state violence or market exploitation. This month’s reading, Without Reserves, offers a history of U.S. capitalism from a social reproduction perspective.
In addition to the reading, here is a short introductory video on social reproduction theory: