How To Remunerate Domestic Labour: Possible Strategies to Account for the Contemporary Crisis of Social Reproduction
Social reproduction, namely all those practices which aim to reproduce and maintain not only our social bonds but also our societal organisation, is at risk. This condition is due to the fact that our society is grounded on a strict gender division of labour in the sense that economic production is typically associated with men, who are compensated for their work with a wage, whereas social reproduction has been traditionally made to coincide with the inner nature of women, leaving them without proper remuneration. Even though dual-earner households are on the rise, women are still the ones who need to shoulder most of the household responsibilities, thus becoming subject to the so-called second shift. Moreover, because the main traditional providers of care are being recruited into the workforce (also because more hours of work are required in order to materially sustain a household), we are witnessing the creation of a care gap. In this thesis, I argue that there is a need to challenge the gender division of labour and allow for more individuals, regardless of their gender, to be involved in the domestic sphere. One possible strategy to achieve this could be to remunerate the activities which are carried out in the domestic realm, in order to challenge the current androcentric model of citizenship which privileges male life patterns and take them as the canon for everyone. In this thesis I will focus on two main possible approaches: I will first analyse the theories developed in the 1970s by Marxist feminist scholars and secondly, I will focus my attention on the more recent and possibly more feasibly proposals of basic income. Ultimately, I will argue in favour of the latter strategy which appears to be more appropriate in ameliorating the crisis of social reproduction.
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