Care for sustaining life:

Perspective from ecofeminism

Amaia Pérez Orozco 
Tuesday 4th July, 12.00-13.30, Cerbère

In this lecture, we will first introduce ecofeminist critiques to the growth society. We will draw on the notion of a structural conflict between the process of capital accumulation and the process of sustaining life – a capital-life conflict. We will focus on the heteropatriarchal dimensions of this conflict and on the role played by carework to contain it – carework acting nowadays as the “leftovers” of wage work. We will denounce that the logic of growth that drives such a society is linked to the denial of interdependence and ecodependence. And that this is related to the notion of self-sufficiency as a key element of hegemonic masculinity. Second, we will affirm that we are facing a civilization crisis – where an ecological crisis and a social reproduction crisis collude – that opens up the question about diverse transition scenarios. Third, we will argue that the ecofeminist degrowth project aims at leading this transition to a particular horizon: that one in which the collective responsibility for “good living” is at the hub of a radically different socioeconomic system. Four and finally, we will argue that sometimes this is described as an enshrined caring society. However, this should never prevent from a profound critique of the current heteropatriarchal character of the social organization and conception of care.

 Readings:

Akbulut, Bengi. 2017. Carework as Commons: Towards a Feminist Degrowth Agenda. Blogpost in degrowth.de, https://www.degrowth.de/en/2017/02/carework-as-commons-towards-a-feminist-degrowth-agenda/

León, Magdalena. 2012. Economic Redefinitions Towards Buen Vivir: A Feminist Approach. Diverse development models and strategies revisited: A special contribution to the 12th AWID International Forum, pp. 14-16

Wichterich, Christa. 2012. Reflections on De-Growth. Diverse development models and strategies revisited: A special contribution to the 12th AWID International Forum, pp. 29-31.