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This new feminism involved a sometimes sharp critique of Marxism, and it is fair to say that by the early s not a single left or Marxist. We are indebted to the many feminists – both radical and socialist – whose works have helped us identify the problems in Marxism. We endorse their criticisms. This essay is a political reading of the restructuring of the (re)production of labor-power in the global economy, but it is also a feminist critique of.


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Feminist Critique of Marxism

We have marxism feminist criticism all been brought within the capitalist orbit, so that politics all over the Western world looks more or less the same — and we have all become part of an international, English-speaking, mass culture.

But maybe that is exactly why difference is so appealing.

For example, the Marxian model can incorporate differences in skills as a results of education or on-the-job training. Further, the preferential marxism feminist criticism of professional and highly skilled workers, and those who work in large, successful firms can be accommodated in these models.

However, while the Neo-prol model tends to marxism feminist criticism the scope of the economic, by recognizing a wide range of possible assets that workers may have, it does not move much beyond the economic arena. Folbre asks us to consider factors such as gender, race, or nationality as being of similar importance to the economic, with different factors being dominant in different situations.

Marxist Feminism

In Marxian models, class structures and class struggles are the primary social structures in capitalism. The structure that is most constraining on marxism feminist criticism is that of social class and these classes become the main form of collective agency. The neo-prol model may alter this somewhat, in that the classes may be more numerous and a little different.

For example, Erik Olin Wright discusses class locations such as expert managers, semi credentialled supervisors, and small employers, in addition to bourgeoisie, petty bourgeoisie, and proletariat Wright, p. But even in the Neo-prol models, these are generally rooted in production and the economy, so that class and class consciousness are most important in terms of defining the constraints and opportunities faced by people.

Within Marxian models, people have little choice in determining their social class so that the structural constraints on people are severe.

While other structures, such as race, ethnicity, age, sex may be considered important, in that they allow capitalist employers "to divide and conquer, to pit each group against each other, to segment the working class" p.


The solution to the problems created by capitalism marxism feminist criticism to replace capitalism with socialism; this is expected to deal not only with problems related to inequitable class structures but also with other forms of inequality. Prol model gives little attention to non-class forms of exploitation and inequality - sex, race, ethnicity, or nation p.

The establishment of socialism is viewed as solution to these forms of inequality, and without socialism these latter inequities cannot be solved. The Neo-prol model modifies this somewhat by defining other groups based on assets. Folbre notes that these are "class-like groups" - e.

Marxist feminism

But even the neo-prol model does not explain divisions based on sex, race, nation very well pp. The Marxian model is very good in explaining the origin and nature of groups based on common economic interests, but is much weaker marxism feminist criticism explaining how groups form on the based of common identity occur p.

In recent years, identity politics has become an marxism feminist criticism basis for social and political action. Groups based on culture, nationality, region, religion, sexual preference, environment - single issue social movements that are not directly based on class although they may have a class component to them - have become common, if not the dominant form of social movements.

Marxism has little to say about the origin or power of these groups.

Marxist feminism - Wikipedia

Some of these are single issue movements but Folbre notes that the individual may identify with and act on the basis of more than one group p. In fact, it is probably most common to have multiple identities, and the single identity may be an aberration. Folbre notes the need for marxism feminist criticism scientists to examine a wide variety of interest groups and non-class categories.

In the first part of this course we have seen how marxism feminist criticism of the cultural factors associated with ethnicity, race, history, and religion lead to strong group identity. Class consciousness and false consciousness do not provide an adequate basis for analyzing issues related to collective identity and action.


See the notes from March 3 for a discussion of these issues. Value of labour power and exploitation.