[-empyre-] Week 1| Social Practice and Social Reproduction
ME Cara Baldwin
carabaldwin13 at gmail.com
Wed May 4 03:26:40 AEST 2016
Thank you, Kyle, for your introduction and these thoughtful prompts in the lead out to this discussion of the many ways in which we might consider, and [re]consider what might constitute “social practice” and the practice [reproduction of the social]. I am happy to note that I realized this morning, looking through the empyre archive, that my experience with conversations here, and those with Dont, now span several years. I am, as always, grateful for time spent with his thought and the work of Ultrared.
I particularly appreciate the opportunity to discuss Maya Gonzales’ The Logic of Gender: On the separation of spheres and the process of abjection. Given the expansiveness of our subject and field, the formulation provided in this text, and in those accompanying it, particularly around [feminisation][flexibilisation][abjection] in post-crisis late capitalism provide us with critical means through which we might begin to tie together threads of conversation that identify both individual and collective cultural [re]production that is waged, unwaged and feminised—abject.
Thinking through the category of social practice at the particular moment in capitalism, and indeed, in the decades leading up to our latest economic crisis and present, I find this quote from the essay particularly useful:
In a country where the Prime Minister himself advocates the organisation of community services on a “voluntary basis”, under the central policy idea of the “Big Society”, a culture “where people, in their everyday lives, in their homes, in their neighbourhoods, in their workplace … feel both free and powerful enough to help themselves and their own communities”, anti-state feminists are faced with a dilemma:
Our aim is for provision “in and against the state”. This raises a core question in the struggle over public goods and shared resources and labour: how are we to ensure that our autonomous efforts to reproduce our own communities do not simply create Cameron’s Big Society for him? — thereby endorsing the logic that if the state will no longer provide for us we will have to do it ourselves? [Feminist Fightback, ‘Cuts are a Feminist Issue’]
So, the question here for me, obviously, is one that we have struggled with in various ways at the level of social practices and cultural reproduction collectively and as individuals. Namely, how to work autonomously and collectively in the realm of the abject and late capital?
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