"Nos quieren hundir" [They want to drown us]: Feminists considerations about "the Crisis" (of social reproduction) in Vélez-Málaga (Spain)
Diana Sarkis (Universidad de Barcelona)
Paper short abstract:
Drawing on ethnographical case, I uphold the value of feminist theory not only for apprehending the unequal consequences of the present crisis of social reproduction for women, but for analyzing its global nature, as well as the embodied human agencies which are its product and challenge it.
Paper long abstract:
This paper challenges dominant narrations of "the Crisis" in terms of lack of investments and unemployment. Drawing upon the embodied experiences of austerity and the reflections of dispossessed women from Vélez-Málaga (SE Spain), it argues that we are in front of a further readjustment of capital/labour relations which has crystallized in a crisis of social reproduction and has overburdened particularly working-class women. Cut-backs, over-taxation and increasing male unemployment have intensified their (paid and non-paid) work-day; while stressing their responsibility of housework and care work, in a context of increasing charges because of the shirking of responsibility by the state (e.g. dismantling of public services as Health System). This process of privatization, feminization and re-housification of social reproduction (Ezquerra, 2012) is embodied in the exhausted and struggling bodies and spirits of middle age women "working death tired" in order to provide a worth living for their families and maintaining the hope of a better future. Likewise re-socializing and des-alienating social reproduction is at the core of young adult women's (uncommon) vindicated forms of social struggle. Drawing on my ethnography, I uphold the value of feminist theory not only for apprehending the unequal consequences of the present crisis of social reproduction for women, but for analyzing its global nature, as well as the embodied experiences and human agencies which are both its product and put it into question.
Critical feminism and the politics of austerity: gender regimes and the making of economic orthodoxies