I also felt I got the most out of the two Waldby and Cooper pieces this week.These two obviously tied together really closely and addressed a lot of the same topics. The Fortunati also tied to these with analyses of reproductive labor. I had a harder time figuring out how the Parisi fit with the other three as it seemed grounded in a lot of different specific ideas.
The Waldby & Cooper seemed to tie in a with a lot of other things we have read about this stratification of bodies with certain bodies being designated as resources for others in a global labor flow. In the first piece, “The Biopolitics of Reproduction,” I thought the end suggestion of recognizing these forms of labor and agency in order to link them with labor organization and activism was interesting.
One thing I kept wondering about as I was reading, particularly in the Fortunati, was about how this lens can be applied (or what other lenses could be applied?) in situations where you don’t have this kind of heteronormative family structure going on. If you’re talking about people of whatever gender who support themselves and aren’t part of a two-person pairing, so they’re performing their own productive and reproductive labor, how do they fit into this scheme? To apply this model must everyone performing reproductive labor always be conceived of as occupying this female position, whatever their sex/gender? It seems like a useful model for many situations, but with definite limits. (Also, not having read a ton of Marxist theory, I wonder how lines are always drawn between productive / not-productive labor. Does productive labor necessarily need some kind of physical product? Is intellectual labor still productive? Does management count as labor or is that considered part of the capitalist structure?)