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POLI 364 - Costa & James: The Power of Women and the Subversion of the Community

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Department
Political Science
Course
POLI 364
Professor
William Clare Roberts
Semester
Winter

Description
Mariarosa Dalla CostaSelma JamesThe Power of Women and the Subversion of the CommunityThe attempt to find the female role as created by capitalist division of labourCentral figurethe housewife Capitalism has created the modern familyand the housewifes role in itby destroying previous familycommunity groups This is not to say that the process by which capitalism has shaped family and womens roles is completeTo show the link between the housewife and the working woman The postWWII daily struggles of women run counter to the organization of the factory and home because of the unreliability of women absenteeism Because women must also consider the job at home they are bound to be even more disengaged from work discipline and impose higher costs to capital This is one excuse for the lower wages paid to women The oppression of women did not begin with capitalism Rather capitalism intensified the exploitation of women as women and gave them at last the possibility of their liberation The Origins of the Capitalist FamilyIn precapitalist society the home and family were central to agricultural and artisan production In postcapitalism it was the factory that was central to socialized production Women lost the relative power that they had derived from the familys dependence on their labour which was seen to be social and necessary Capital destroyed the family community and production as one whole Basic social production is in the factoryoffice while the man has been detached from the family and been turned into a wage labourer Thus the man is now burdened with the financial responsibility for all who did not earn a wage women children the elderly This precipitated the expulsion from the home all those who did not service those who worked for wages children being sent to schoolAlthough I would tend to venture that this was not necessarily a bad thingIn precapitalist society every member of the community of serfs were seen to be serving one purpose collective survival or the prosperity of the feudal lord This compelled the serfs to be cooperative in a unity of unfreedom 5Capitalism broke this cooperation separating the male from the female and both from their children The modern womens movement even when it takes the form of a violent rejection of any possibility of relations with men can only aim to overcome the separation which is based on the freedom of wage labour The Class Struggle in EducationThe school has been identified as the centre of ideological discipline and the shaping of the labour forces and its masters In elementary school children there is always an awareness that school is in some way setting them against their parents and their peers and consequently there is an instinctive resistance to studying and to being educated 7This is such a vulgar point do the authors really suggest that individuals were better off illiterate poor and toiling in the fields as subsistence farmers for their entire lives Competition is a natural instinct CJ presupposes in their analysis that this competition is badChildren see teachers teaching him or her something against her mother and father not as a defense of the child but as an attack on the class 7Capitalism is the first productive system where the children of the exploited are disciplined and educated in institutions organized mid controlled by the ruling class 7This control is never complete The working class continually and increasingly challenges the contents and refuses the costs of capitalist schooling The response of the capitalist system is to reestablish its own control and this control tends to be more and more regimented on factorylike lines 7 Those working class children who arrive those few who do arrive at university are so brainwashed that they are unable any longer to talk to their community 8Parents focus their energies in raising their child and giving himher and education This is how capital uses parental aspirations to enlist their help in disciplining fresh labour power 8How would these authors respond who those majority individuals who would view knowledge and human welfare as having intrinsic value The Exploitation of the Wageless
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