In: Historical Materialism
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  • 1 Wilfrid Laurier University, Ontario
  • 2 University of Sheffield
  • 3 University of Edinburgh
  • 4 Goldsmiths, University of London

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The 2011 Historical Materialism Conference in London saw the launch of a Marxist-Feminist set of panels. This issue is inspired by the success of those panels, and the remarkably sustained interest in reviving and moving beyond older debates and discussions. The special issue’s focus, Social-Reproduction Feminism, reflects and contextualises the ongoing work and engagement with that thematic that has threaded through the conferences in the 2010s. This Introduction provides a summary overview of the Social-Reproduction Feminism framework, situating it within Marxist-Feminist thinking and politics more generally, and calls on readers to consider its promise and potential as an historical-materialist approach to understanding capitalist social relations in terms of an integrated totality.

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  • Anderson Margaret L. & Collins Patricia Hill Race, Class & Gender: An Anthology 2016 Ninth Edition Boston Cengage Learning (Wadsworth Publishing)

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  • Arat-Koc Sedef Bakan Abigail & Stasiulis Daiva ‘From “Mothers of the Nation” to Migrant Workers: Immigration Policies and Domestic Workers in Canadian History’ Not One of the Family: Foreign Domestic Workers in Canada 1997 Toronto University of Toronto Press

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  • Armstrong Pat & Armstrong Hugh Theorizing Women’s Work 1990 Toronto Garamond

  • Arruzza Cinzia ‘Functionalist, Determinist, Reductionist: Social Reproduction Feminism and Its Critics’ Science & Society 2015 80 1 9 30

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  • Bakker Isabella ‘Social Reproduction and the Constitution of a Gendered Political Economy’ New Political Economy 2007 12 4 541 556

  • Bakker Isabella & Silvey Rachel Beyond States and Markets: The Challenges of Social Reproduction 2008 London Routledge

  • Barrett Michèle Women’s Oppression Today: Problems in Marxist Feminist Analysis 1980 London Verso

  • Barrett Michèle & McIntosh Mary The Anti-Social Family 1982 London Verso

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  • Bezanson Kate & Luxton Meg Social Reproduction: Feminist Political Economy Challenges Neo-liberalism 2006 Kingston, ON McGill-Queen’s University Press

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  • Bourdieu Pierre Brown Richard ‘Cultural Reproduction and Social Reproduction’ Knowledge, Education and Cultural Change 1973 London Tavistock

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  • Brenner Johanna Women and the Politics of Class 2000 New York Monthly Review Press

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  • Dalla Costa Mariarosa & James Selma The Power of Women and the Subversion of the Community 1972 Bristol Falling Wall Press

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  • Farris Sara R. ‘Migrants’ Regular Army of Labour: Gender Dimensions of the Impact of the Global Economic Crisis on Migrant Labor in Western Europe’ The Sociological Review 2014 63 1 121 143

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  • Federici Silvia Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction and Feminist Struggle 2012 Oakland, CA. PM Press

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  • Ferguson Susan ‘Canadian Contributions to Social Reproduction Feminism: Race and Embodied Labor’ Race, Gender and Class 2008 15 1/2 42 57

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  • Fortunati Leopoldina The Arcane of Reproduction: Housework, Prostitution, Labor and Capital 1996 New York Autonomedia

  • Hartmann Heidi ‘The Unhappy Marriage of Marxism and Feminism: Towards a More Progressive Union’ Capital & Class 1979 3 2 1 33

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  • LeBaron Genevieve ‘Unfree Labor beyond Binaries: Social Hierarchy, Insecurity, and Labor Market Restructuring’ International Feminist Journal of Politics 2015 17 1 1 19

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  • Sargent Lydia Women and Revolution: A Discussion of the Unhappy Marriage of Marxism and Feminism 1981 Montreal Black Rose Books

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  • 1

    Kollontai 1909.

  • 2

    Cf. Barrett 1980; Sargent (ed.) 1981. The Marxist-Feminist project comprises various strands of thought and politics, some overlapping, some competing. But its proponents were broadly united in exploring the interrelation of feminist and Marxist insights and methods.

  • 5

    Althusser 1971.

  • 8

    Ferguson 1999.

  • 10

    Hartmann 1979. We put ‘capitalism’ in scare quotes because Hartmann, like so many others at the time and since, uses the term to denote formal economic relations. Our preference is to understand capitalism as a social system, or, put differently, to emphasise that ‘the economic’ is an abstraction, which does not concretely exist outside of culture and society, and which is therefore organised in, and through, the relations of gender, race, sexuality, nation and imperialism.

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