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Family, Welfare, and the State: Between Progressivism and the New Deal

Mon, February 29, 2016 @ 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM

$6.00 – $15.00

A discussion with Silvia Federici concerning
Family, Welfare, and the State: Between Progressivism and the New Deal
By Mariarosa Dalla Costa with a Preface by Silvia Federici
Monday, February 29, 7:30 to 9:30 pm

Written in the ten years following the publication of The Power of Women and the Subversion of Community (1972) and the international organizing efforts of the Wages for Housework Campaign, Mariarosa Dalla Costa’s Family, Welfare and the State reflects on the history of struggles around the New Deal in which workers’ initiatives forced a new relationship with the state on the terrain of social reproduction. Were the New Deal and the institutions of the welfare state the saviors of the working class, or were they the destroyers of its self-reproducing capacity?

By analyzing the relationship of women and the state, Dalla Costa offers a comprehensive reading of the welfare system through the dynamics of resistance and struggle, the willingness and reluctance to work inside and outside the home, and the relationship with the relief structures that women expressed in the United States during the Great Depression.

Three decades later, revisiting the origins of this system on a sociopolitical level its policies governing race, class, and family relations, especially in terms of the role that was delegated to women’s labor power remains vital for a deeper understanding of the historical relationship between women and the state, crisis and resistance, and possibilities for class autonomy.

“Dalla Costa shows that with the New Deal, the state began to plan the “social factory” —that is, the home, the family, the school, and above all women’s labor—on which the productivity and pacification of industrial relations was made to rest. Family, Welfare, and The State leaves no doubt that the New Deal was not only the last resort to “save capitalism” from the danger of working class revolution, but was also in essence a productivity deal that was structured to maintain a patriarchal and racist order.”
—Silvia Federici, from the Preface

Mariarosa Dalla Costa is an influential author and international feminist who has devoted her theoretical and practical efforts to the study of the female condition in capitalist development. In addition to her seminal book The Power of Women and the Subversion of the Community, coauthored with Selma James, her most recent books include Our Mother Ocean: Enclosure, Commons, and the Global Fishermen’s Movement (Common Notions, 2014) as well as Family, Welfare, and the State: Between Progressivism and the New Deal (Common Notions, 2015).

Silvia Federici is a feminist writer, teacher, and activist. Her most recent book is Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction, and Feminist Struggle (Common Notions/PM Press, 2012). She was cofounder of the International Feminist Collective, an organizer with the Wages for housework campaign, member of Midnight Notes Collective, as well as ongoing and far-ranging participant in movements around the world.

ISBN: 978-1-942173-01-4Ê ¥ÊPublished by Common Notions


Mon, February 29, 2016
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
$6.00 – $15.00


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