Rewriting (Global) Political Economy as Reproductive, Productive, and Virtual (Foucauldian) Economies


Peterson, V. Spike. 2002. “Rewriting (Global) Political Economy as Reproductive, Productive, and Virtual (Foucauldian) Economies.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 4 (1): 1–30. 

Author: V. Spike Peterson


Feminists have an enormous stake in, and important contributions to make to, critical analyses of globalization. At present, analyses are impeded by disciplinary and epistemological divides that preclude integrative scholarship, by complex identities that foil essentialist starting points, and by processes of deterritorialization and dematerialization that confound political and economic theories. The alternative analytical framing introduced here deploys a Foucauldian sense of economies to deny a separation of culture from economy, to encourage cross-disciplinary and multi-dimensional analysis, and to enable more critical practice in relation to globalization dynamics. The ‘RPV framing’ brings the identities, ideologies, and practices of ‘social reproduction,’ welfare, non-wage labor and informalization into relation with the familiar but the now global and flexibilized ‘productive economy’ of goods and services, as well as with the less familiar but increasingly consequential – though dematerialized – ‘virtual economy’ of  finnancial markets, cyberspace, and the exchange less of goods than of signs.

Keywords: globalization, global political economy, gender, social reproduction, informal sector, global financial markets, dematerialization

Topics: Economies, Care Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Globalization, Livelihoods, Political Economies

Year: 2002

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