On Behalf of Martha E. Gimenez:
I am pleased to announce that my book, Marx, Women, and Capitalist Social Reproduction, has just been published by Brill, in the Historical Materialism Book Series (https://brill.com/view/title/26510?format=HC).
It is an anthology of my work, articles and book chapters published between 1975 and 2009. It also includes two chapters written especially for the book, one on Intersectionality and the other on Social Reproduction. Please share this information with friends, colleagues and students interested in Marxist theory and methodology, and in the oppression of women. Also, I would very much appreciate it if you could request that the library of the university where you work might consider buying it; right now, it has been released as a hardback (the paperback will be available in about a year), too expensive for most students and even faculty.
The financialized nature of current European political economy has pushed governments to pursue policies which are hostile to workers’ interests, even when these may disrupt stability and growth. Two policies in particular – punitive active labor market policies (i.e. workfare) and pan-European wage restraint – have both been unconvincing as drivers of growth and employment, and neither appear to contribute to institutional stability. But both have been aggressively implemented by many European states in spite of these failings.
Can governments do nothing but oscillate between the market-led destruction of social life and what used to answer to the name “the welfare state”? Levenson challenges this opposition, taking as his implicit point of departure that dispossession is not only an ongoing process central to neoliberalism, but to capitalism tout court.
In sociology today, especially exemplified by the rise of analytical sociology, Merton’s middle range dominates. But should it? Marx probably would have viewed much of middle rage theory as residing at “the level of appearances” with deeper hidden causes. But that is not to say that appearances are inconsequential. Even things that are caused themselves carry their own weight in the world. It is just to say that Marxism argues that any particular thing cannot be fully explained without analyzing the hidden social reality behind that thing. General theory’s challenge for sociologists is to put seemingly isolated social processes into a broader whole or structure. Marxism identifies structures, processes, and mechanisms that matter for a wide range of more particular social questions. This includes revolutions, racial formation, bureaucratic organizations, the division of housework, and so on.
As the word intersectionality falls from the lips of Hillary Clinton and increasingly is normalized and sanitized, we should be clear about its radical moorings. In fact, the idea did not begin in the academy but in struggle. Last year marked the 40th anniversary of the Combahee River Collective, a Radical Black Lesbian Collective. The concepts of “simultaneity” and “intersectional feminism” capture Combahee's grounding in the radical Black feminist tradition. As Barbara Smith, one of the co-founders of the Collective pointed out (pdf), "simultaneity" is the signature contribution of Black feminism. That is, race, class, gender, sexuality are in play at the same time. They intersect. They operate simultaneously.