SS03. FaDA Session: Commonisation of care

The covid pandemic showed that care work is still disproportionately performed by women and feminized populations, both privately and in state-led institutions. This trend, embedded in the fabric of capitalism (Denger and Lang, 2022; Federici, 2004), relies and fortifies other forms of inequality: racism, heteronorm, bordering regimes, etc. Relatedly, degrowth feminists (Pérez Orozco 2014, Stensöta 2015) have emphasized the importance of ending the sexual division of labor and making care a communal task. Building on this framework, the papers in this session will reflect (both theoretically and empirically) on possibilities of organizing the work that sustains life outside of the options offered by the market and the state. The authors will bring together experiences and analysis from social movements, intentional communities, and utopian spaces (broadly defined) to discuss the potentialities and challenges of collective interdependence and ecodependence.

  • Expected proposals format: conventional panel contributions
  • Keywords: organization of care work, commonisation of care, feminist degrowth, sustainability of life, interdependence, ecodependence
  • Related track(s): None (new track)
  • Organizers: Martínez Álvarez, Bibiana (Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Spain); Coyotecatl Contreras, Jéssica Malinalli (University of California, Santa Barbara, USA)

Full description

Debates around degrowth emphasize how the transition to "just socio-ecological futures" would entail important changes in the way economic relationships and processes are approached and organized (Akbulut, 2016). In this framework, care has special relevance when imagining a socioecological reorganization of individual and collective lives. Here it is important to highlight that we understand care not only as care between humans, but also between humans and non-humans elements of the environment.

In this session we focus particularly on a framework of feminist degrowth that allows us to destabilize the current dichotomies and limits between the monetized economy and the invisible economy based on "socioecological provisioning" (Dengler and Lang, 2022). At the same time we attend to the claims of the feminist ethics of care (Pérez Carrasco 2014; Stensöta 2015) that remind us that care work is a competence that does not “naturally” flow from the disposition of a particular group of people (women and feminized populations), but rather it is learned through social processes of inequality.

We are particularly interested in the vision of degrowth that shows the multiple crises that currently affect society (economic and ecological, but also democratic, care, migration, etc.) and that have their origin in patriarchal, growth-oriented, monocultural and anthropocentric patterns (Denger and Lang, 2022; Federici 2010). We consider that in the search for solutions to these crises, it would be necessary to propose multidimensional strategies that address and challenge different issues that have their origin in power relations such as class relations, coloniality or patriarchy. Therefore, the commonisation of care also requires a multidimensional approach.

The goal of this session is to explore what possibilities exist to organize care work within the framework of societies focused on degrowth, gender justice and ecological sustainability. We think of these possibilities as based on (social and nature) intersectional frameworks. The papers in this session will analyze the commonisation of care and the possibilities that could offer to address care beyond the dichotomy of the productive (and visible) sphere and the reproductive (and invisible) sphere outside of market and state logics.

Presenters (max 4) will have 15 min slots for their papers (60 min), followed by an intervention of a discussant and open discussion between panelists and attendants to the session (30 min). Discussion of papers that reflect (theoretically and empirically) on possibilities of organizing care work, specially on strategies of commonisation