By G. Cassano
Home/Front examines the gendered exploitation of work within the family from a postmodern Marxian point of view. The authors of this quantity use the anti-foundationalist Marxian monetary theories first formulated via Stephen Resnick and Richard Wolff to discover strength, domination, and exploitation within the glossy family.
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Extra resources for Class Struggle on the Home Front: Work, Conflict and Exploitation in the Household
Capitalist and feudal class structures do not exhaust the possibilities within households. One can imagine (and there is historical evidence to suggest) that household members can be involved in slave class processes. Likewise, what Marx called the “ancient” fundamental class process, where direct laborers produce and appropriate their own surplus labor individually, and the communist class process, where direct laborers do the same, but do so collectively, could characterize households (Hindess and Hirst 1975; Jensen 1981; Amariglio 1984; Resnick and Wolff 1988, 2002; Gabriel 1989).
Gender refers to certain ideological processes within a culture. These include the production and distribution of sets of meanings which are attached to primary and secondary sex characteristics. Gender processes usually (but not always) pose differences as binary opposites. Biological differences between the sexes function as signs or markers to which meanings Harriet Fraad, Stephen Resnick, and Richard Wolff 23 of femininity, as opposed to (as the “other” of) masculinity, are affixed. Physical differences serve as rationalizations or explanations for differences (oppositions) attributed to males and females across the entire spectrum of life expressions, from sexual preferences to emotional and intellectual qualities to career orientations.
As we shall show, this includes the household. We must then disagree with such Marxist–Feminists as Heidi Hartmann (1974, 1981a, b, 2006), Nancy Folbre (1982, 2001), Zillah Eisenstein, and contributors to the Journal of Feminist Economics (2006–8) as well as others who apply class analysis only outside the boundaries of the household and chiefly to enterprises or to particular groups of people. 4 We also understand gender as a set of processes. Unlike the class processes, which are economic processes, the gender processes are cultural or ideological processes (Barrett 1980: 13, 841; Butler 1999; Hennessy and Ingraham 1997).