Food, Nerves, and Fertility. Variations on the Moral Economy of the Body, 1700-1920 – History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences – article

Food, Nerves, and Fertility. Variations on the Moral Economy of the Body, 1700-1920

Antonello La Vergata | History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences

2019-10-26

Care is performed at the intersections of various social differentiations in which its gendering appears tenacious. This article delineates four thematic clusters that variously focus on the work, relations, practices and politics of care, and elaborates on some organising concepts, studies and arguments. These framings overlap and question each other: the sexual division of labour, mothering, the economic and social value of women’s domestic work and the work/care regime; gendered critiques of welfare regimes and a care regime; the care economy, a sharpening care crisis and care deficit with neo-liberal policies and demands for a work–life balance; and the rationalities, biopolitics and governmentalities of the social organisation and morality of care. Discussions diverge and converge in debates on the making of gender relations in work and political economy. Taking the labour of care seriously in the struggle against women’s subordination and gender inequalities appears inescapable.

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