Intersectionality and Social-Reproduction Feminisms

Toward an Integrative Ontology

In: Historical Materialism
Susan Ferguson Wilfrid Laurier University Ontario

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Seeking to capture the multi-layered, contradictory, nature of subjectivities and social positions through a framework which insists upon the complex, dynamic nature of the social, intersectionality feminism has inspired Marxist-Feminists to push the social-reproduction feminism paradigm beyond a narrow preoccupation with gender/class relations. Yet even its most politically radical articulations stop short of fully theorising the integrative logic they espouse. This article explores the roots of this under-theorisation, and suggests that a more fully integrative ontology informs certain formulations of social-reproduction feminism. In understanding the social as constituted by practical human activity whose object (the social and natural world) is organised capitalistically, social-reproduction feminism highlights the dialectical relationship between the capitalist whole and its differentiated parts. The challenge for Marxist-Feminism is to embrace this dialectical approach while building on the insights of intersectionality feminism to more convincingly capture the unity of a complex, diverse social whole.

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