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Revisiting the concept of social reproduction and proposing an expanded concept of 'work', this panel considers how ethnographic research and analytical frameworks informed by these lenses can unsettle established understandings of capitalist relations and experiences, within and beyond workplaces.
Recent anthropological discussions have proposed a rethinking and expansion of the concept of work/labour (Narotzky 2018; Harvey and Krohn-Hansen 2018). Building on these discussions and revisiting the concept of social reproduction, this panel considers how different kinds of 'work' are involved in making livelihoods and navigating contemporary capitalism - and their enmeshment in power relations, located within particular historical and regional contexts. This panel explores the concept of 'work' within and beyond workplaces, considering how it can encompass other kinds of actions and relationships, including particular outlooks, and resourceful, artful strategies in addressing the challenges and uncertainties of capitalism. Further, recovering the concept of social reproduction and employing a critical feminist lens to consider the lived experiences, social complexities and contradictions of work and life allows us to move beyond enduring conceptual dichotomies (market/domestic, formal/informal, public/private, licit/illicit). Moreover, it suggests ways of thinking about power relations beyond ideas of domination and resistance, drawing attention to how power is also enacted through unexpected collaborations involving particular moral engagements. The concept of social reproduction, as 'an all-inclusive approach to material, life-sustaining processes' (Narotzky 1997:1), highlights how these dynamics take place both in workplaces, and in households, neighbourhoods and communities of practice. We welcome paper proposals that consider how an ethnographic engagement with the concept of social reproduction, paying attention to power relations and different kinds of 'work', might improve our understanding of various forms of contemporary capitalism in/beyond Europe (Yanagisako 2002; Bear et al 2015).