Informal Employment and the Social Reproduction of Value

Social Reproduction Theory recenters the analysis of capitalism on its reproductive architecture. Here, I further discuss the centrality of social reproduction to value generation and develop a ‘value theory of inclusion’. I identify three concrete mechanisms through which social reproduction contributes to value generation. The first reproductive mechanism is based on (migrant) workers’ living arrangements at their place of work: dormitories or informal housing in slum-like industrial villages. The second channel through which social reproduction is generative of value is through the complex process of rural-urban migration and circulation of labour, which subsidizes capital by socialising reproductive costs. The third channel is the incorporation of homeworkers into global value chains.