Antonella Picchio, 'Social Reproduction of Human Beings: A Feminist Perspective'

feminists@law is pleased to launch the first in a series of online guest lectures that trace the (dis)continuities between the debate on immaterial labour and value which originated in Italy in the 1970s and the current debate on precarity/precariousness which has more recently emerged as a central concern of transnational feminist scholarship and activism (see 2007 special issue of Feminist Review). Reflecting on this intellectual/political trajectory acquires particular relevance today, with the crisis of social reproduction advancing in Europe as elsewhere.

In the first lecture, Antonella Picchio draws on classical political economy to explore the present capitalist tension between production, rent and profit on the one hand and social reproduction on the other. Far from glorifying care and domestic labour as the expression of women's self-sacrifice, feminist theorising on social reproduction is central to struggles over the re-definition of life and its 'common' sense.

We hope that this series will generate further discussion in this journal and beyond.

Antonella Picchio from donatella alessandrini on Vimeo.

Antonella Picchio is Professor of Political Economy at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia.