Valerie Bryson
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Liberalism, neoliberalism and feminism
Contradictions and concerns
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This chapter asks whether feminists can find any answers in Marxist theory, and it argues that, although Marxism has often been limited by its male-stream assumptions, it can be developed in feminist ways. It begins with a brief discussion of some central terms and ideas, before tracing the evolution of Marxist feminist debates around the relationship between capitalism and women’s oppression from the nineteenth to the late twentieth century. The chapter then focuses on the concept of ‘social reproduction’, and it supports the arguments of those feminists who argue that the conflicting needs of the ‘productive’ and ‘reproductive’ economies are likely to lead to crisis. The chapter also draws on Marxist concepts to challenge neoliberal assumptions and reframe key issues from a feminist and socialist perspective.

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