[OPE-L:2338] Re: the black box of the domestic sphere?

From: Gerald Levy (glevy@PRATT.EDU)
Date: Wed Feb 09 2000 - 16:26:23 EST

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I re-formatted Michael's post to make it a bit easier to read./Jerry

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 9 Feb 2000 19:52:32 -0000
From: Michael Williams <mwilliam@dmu.ac.uk>

-----Original Message-----
Subject: [OPE-L:2337] Re: the black box of the domestic sphere?

> Mike W responded in [OPE-L:2330:

> > My last published thoughts are incorporated in Value Form and the
> > State (ch. 7, I think)

> With VFS in hand I can see that the "private sphere" is viewed as a
> "separate" sphere from the bourgeois economy but that the two are
> "interdependent for their material reproduction": "there is thus an
> element of value-form determination of the private sphere" (189).

> This, however, does not address the specific characteristics of the
> interdependency between the two spheres.

I'm not sure that there is a great deal to say about this within
specifically Marxist discourse, although surely more than our 'tidying-up'
chapter in VFS. I just am not up to date with the Marxist-Feminist
literature that no doubt does a better job than a ten-year old book. In the
UK, 'Feminist Review' would obviously be a good place to start.

> In particular, it does not
> address the question of the input and output of value to and from the
> private sphere.

Indeed it does not. My last prolonged engagement with this issue was during
the 'domestic labour' debates of the 1970s. These fought themselves to a
standstill, and what I walked away with was a conviction that the family is
not integrated into the value-form determined economy: domestic labour (even
if this is a felicitous term) produces neither surplus-value nor value. It
creates people.

> Thus, while there is not the supposition that the domestic
> sphere "just happens" or that it is a "black box", there isn't a further
> investigation into the specifics of the interdependency.

This is true and acknowledged in the book
btw (referring to footnote 3 on p. 189),

> a) was the Hanlon dissertation completed? If so, when, where, title?

I don't know. The last I heard, Marnie was no longer a professional

> b) Was the Kleiber article ever published?

I don't know - but I could probably find out.

> c) any further writings by Hanlon and Kleiber (or others) on the subject
> of a VFT of the private sphere?

I am in no better position than anyone else to do a literature search on
this. I can do some searches on my own bibliographic data base if anyone is
Dr Michael Williams
Economics and Social Sciences
De Montfort University
Milton Keynes
fax: 0870 133 1147
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