Law and the Reproduction Sphere as the Place of a Double Production of Value
In the general framework of the relationship between women and the law, a large debate is growing on the misconceived value of domestic labour. Within this debate, I argue that the recent transformations that have affected this sphere have further complicated the contradictory situation in which domestic labour finds itself in and which legal studies need to contend with. I will show that the domestic sphere has now become a place where there is a double production of value. I argue that this happened because the production of value connected to the production and reproduction of the labour-force after the feminist struggles of the 70s and 80s had gone into crisis. The crisis originated as women contested and refused to enable such production through the material and immaterial dimensions of their domestic labour, leading to its decrease. The machinisation of the domestic sphere starting in the 90s has therefore been capital´'s response to this confrontation, the strategy it has employed to extract value from this sphere anew. As consequence, today there are two layers of value production in the reproduction sphere: the first working badly and the second functioning better for capital. The complex situation, which is described shortly here, is what legal culture has to deal with, nowadays.
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