[OPE-L:2344] Re: the black box of the domestic sphere?

From: Gerald Levy (glevy@PRATT.EDU)
Date: Thu Feb 10 2000 - 08:41:19 EST

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Michael W wrote in [OPE-L:2338]:

> 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.
(snip) In the
> 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.

Which raises the question: what are the basic *theoretical* questions in
political economy which have been discussed and debated by
Marxist-Feminists since the "domestic labour debate" of the 1970's? (if
anyone is unfamiliar with that earlier debate, a good introduction is Ben
Fine "Reviewing the Domestic Labour Debate", in Fine 1992). It seems from
my reading that most of the writings by Marxist-Feminists since have been
on more concrete subjects and have centered around economic history, "case
studies", and class analysis.

In the early 1980's, the relationship between gender and the
internationalization of capital was a source of discussion and research
(see Young et al eds. and Nash/Fernandez-Kelly eds.). In these
discussions, though, there was not much contact to the earlier debate on
domestic labour or value theory in general. More recently, there has been
a (multi-disciplinary) discussion about the household (Fraad, et al) in
which specifically economic questions are little discussed.

One of the boldest attempts to conceptualize these subjects from a Marxist
perspective is by Mike L (1992). What do you (and others) think about his

What other important works on this subject have been written in recent

I have no idea what has been discussed in recent years in Japan on this
topic (Mariko?; Makoto?). Last I knew there was a "marxism-feminism" list
on the Net, but it was pretty inactive -- and dominated by male
subscribers. Does anyone know if this has changed? (Nicole?)

In solidarity, Jerry


Harriet Fraad, Stephen Resnick, Richard Wolff _Bringing it all back home:
  class gender, and power in the modern household_, London, Pluto, 1994
Ben Fine _Women's Employment and the Capitalist Family_ London, Routledge,

Michael A. Lebowitz _Beyond Capital: Marx's political economy of the
  working class_, NY, St. Martin's Press, 1992

June Nash and Maria Patricia Fernandez-Kelly eds. _Women, men and the
  international division of labor_, Albany, State University of New York
  Press, 1983

Kate Young, Carol Wolkowitz, and Roslyn McCullagh _Of marriage and the
  market: Women's subordination internationally and its lessons_, London,
  Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1981 (2nd edition; 1st edition published by CSE
  books under different title)

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