Women's Work and the Limits of Capitalism
The New School, 2010
Feminist economist Nancy Folbre presents a historical analysis of the interrelated development of Patriarchy and Capitalism. She describes the role of women in the reproduction of labour, their “specialization” in care and their changing involvement in the labour market. Folbre argues that capitalism weakens patriarchy but at the same time relies on unpaid caring activities. The lecture continues with what Folbre calls the neoliberal dilemma: capitalism relies on unpaid caring activities but does not want to pay for them. She concludes with consequences of a feminist analysis of caring activities for the welfare state, the measurement of growth and economic inequalities.