Care Extractivism and the Reconfiguration of Social Reproduction in Post-Fordist Economies

Wichterich, Christa

kassel university press, ISBN: 978-3-7376-0632-5, 2019, 28 Seiten
(ICDD Working-Papers Heft/Paper No. 25)

URN: urn:nbn:de:0002-406334

DOI: 10.19211/KUP9783737606332

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Inhalt: This paper suggests the concept of care extractivism as a space- and time-diagnostic tool to international political economics in post-fordist societies. Analogous to resource
extractivism, care extractivism depicts the intensified commodification of social reproduction and care work along social hierarchies of gender, class, race and North-South
as a strategy to cope with a crisis of social reproduction. Extractivist policies result in the creation of a cheap reproductive labour force.

The paper analyses the current national and transnational reconfiguration of social and biological reproduction in Germany / Western Europe interacting with Eastern Europe and Asia. Currently, the most striking features of care extractivism are a) professionalisation for efficiency increase, b) transnationalisation based on import of care workers, and c) transnationalisation of biological reproduction based on reproductive technologies.

The contradiction between the rationale of care and the neoliberal capitalist market logic results in frequent care struggles such as the protests of hospital nurses against the
depletion of care resources. The politisation of care by the protesting care workers asks for giving preference to the care economy as a common good over care as a commodity.

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