Critical Inquiry and Social Reproduction

Like the “Shifting Perspectives: Optics for Revealing Change and Reworking Space” section (Section 10) of The People, Place, and Space Reader, which presents various lenses into the spatiality of social change, the selections in this reading list share a similar concern. These readings hone in on demonstrating methods of inquiry that are perceptive to social reproduction as it relates to global capitalist development. Scholars and activists concerned with the injustices inherent to and exacerbated by capitalism often seek and argue for social change in terms of production. … Social reproduction is one such lens, albeit dialectically related to and often overlapping with that of production, through we can study and critique capitalist development.

According to geographer Cindi Katz (2001c), social reproduction encompasses the resources and activities that sustain and reproduce the people and places needed for production; it occurs on a daily and generational basis, through political economic, cultural, and material relations, in messy and structured ways. … Broadly speaking, responsibility for social reproduction has been offloaded recklessly from national governments and capital onto families and individuals, allowing capital to move about more freely; and, conditions that are necessary for social reproduction and previously were considered public or social in nature are being uploaded into the productive economy through privatization and commodification.

To read more on this topic and see the recommended reading list for this topic by Hillary Caldwell, click here.

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