The Discovery of 'Unpaid Work': the social consequences of the expansion of 'work'
This paper questions the dichotomy of work/nonwork. It examines the way in which the category of work was expanded by feminists and economists to include much domestic activity, and considers some of the consequences of this expansion. It argues that the discovery of unpaid "work" involved an uncritical application and validation of a concept of work abstracted from a model of commodity producing wage labor in manufacturing. However, this concept excludes much of what is distinctive about domestic activities, such as their caring and self-fulfilling aspects. Inequality between households has become a conduit for the construction of needs in a form in which "work", and in particular work for money, is needed to satisfy them. Some consequences of this tendency are examined together with the policy concerns which would need to be addressed in order to mitigate its deleterious effects. The development of a feminist economics which transcends the polarization of life into "work" and "nonwork" is argued to be vital in this process.
To our knowledge, this item is not available for
download. To find whether it is available, there are three
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.
|Date of creation:||Jun 1995|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Published in Feminist Economics, Volume 1, Number 2, July 1995, pp. 1-19(19)|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.open.ac.uk/socialsciences/about-the-faculty/departments/economics/research/discussion-papers.php
More information through EDIRC
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:opn:wpaper:6. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (IT team member)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.