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Hidden abodes in plain sight: The social reproduction of households and labor in the COVID-19 pandemic

This article deploys a feminist political economy approach centered on social reproduction to analyze the reconfiguration and regeneration of multiple inequalities in households and the labor markets during the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on this approach, the analysis unpacks the multiple trajectories of fragility the current crisis is intervening on and reshaping in the home and in the world of work, and their gendered and racialized features across the world. It shows how the pandemic and the measures to contain it have further deepened the centrality of households and reproductive work in the functioning of capitalism and argues that the transformative potential of the crisis can only be harnessed by framing policy and political responses around social reproduction and its essential contributions to work and life.

Highlights

  • A feminist social reproduction approach reveals the COVID-19 crisis as a crisis of work.

  • The crisis is reshaping the organization of production and reproduction in households and global labor markets.

  • This reorganization is exacerbating gender, class, and race inequalities.

  • The pandemic has renewed the centrality of households in welfare provisioning and made social reproduction work visible.

  • An internationalist feminist response would ensure access to services based on the centrality of social reproduction.

Stevano, S., Mezzadri, A., Lombardozzi, L., & Bargawi, H. (2021). Hidden Abodes in Plain Sight: The Social Reproduction of Households and Labor in the COVID-19 Pandemic. Feminist Economics, 1-17.

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