Family, Welfare, and the State: Between Progressivism and the New Deal, Second Edition (Paperback)
  • Family, Welfare, and the State: Between Progressivism and the New Deal, Second Edition (Paperback)
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Family, Welfare, and the State: Between Progressivism and the New Deal, Second Edition (Paperback)

(author), (author of preface), (foreword), (translator)
£11.99
Paperback Published: 21/10/2021
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“Dalla Costa shows that with the New Deal, the state began to plan the ‘social factory’—that is, the home, the family, the school, and above all women’s labor, on which the productivity and pacification of industrial relations was made to rest.”—Silvia Federici

In a groundbreaking study, Family, Welfare, and the State offers a comprehensive reading of the welfare system through the dynamics of women's resistance and class struggle. Mariarosa Dalla Costa, a key figure in the International Wages for Housework campaigns, highlights how the New Deal concretized the central role of women and the family in ensuring the capacity for economic growth and the reproduction of labor power necessary for the maintenance of capitalism. As social movements fight for and secure government relief for mass unemployment in a way not seen for decades, it is essential to understand how the deals—especially governing race, class, and family relations—struck by earlier generations of activists have shaped our world. A new foreword makes clear Dalla Costa’s importance to understanding the functioning of social reproduction in a world ravaged by COVID-19.

Publisher: Common Notions
ISBN: 9781942173533
Dimensions: 203 x 127 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

“This is the perfect moment to revisit Mariarosa Dalla Costa’s groundbreaking study. In the aftermath of a calamitous pandemic that dealt women a particularly devastating blow, the concepts of social reproduction and care work have finally entered the political mainstream. Family, Welfare, and the State brilliantly analyzes the conditions and ideology that shaped New Deal reforms, acutely alert to both their possibilities and limitations. This is essential reading as we push to continue the work of our radical feminist forebears.”—Astra Taylor, author of Remake the World: Essays, Reflections, Rebellions “In Family, Welfare, and the State, Mariarosa Dalla Costa provides a solid argument for overthrowing, one might say, all three. In this supposedly post-Trumpian moment, when progressive economists are prominently lauding 'the end of the end of welfare as we know it, Dalla Costa's warnings (both implicit and explicit) about the seductions and dangers of any 'new deals' offered down by the American state are salutary, to put it mildly. This book provides a galvanizing history of Roosevelt-era class struggles in and against unwaged housework, and an incisive reading of the apparatus Dalla Costa calls 'the family ideology.' Family, Welfare, and the State is equally a great and accessible starting-point for anyone curious about the Marxist concept of social reproduction, or who has yet to be introduced to this author of the immortal 1970 essay 'Women and the Subversion of the Community' and dissident scion of Potere Operaio, the 1960s Italian workerist group.”—Sophie Lewis, author of Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism Against Family “For fifty years Mariarosa Dalla Costa has been the feminist conscience of autonomist, labor, radical, and workerist movements internationally. Ever since The Power of Women and the Subversion of the Community appeared in 1972, no one could reasonably engage in a revolutionary struggle against capitalism, and against the imposition of waged work, without due consideration to the power of women and unwaged reproduction of workers’ capacity to work. By placing welfare at the center of her analysis, Dalla Costa expands upon these initial findings while opening a new front against the racial and patriarchal order, and against the discipline of the state apparatus. A new edition of Family, Welfare, and the State provides a necessary opportunity to revisit her project, and hence, our own.”—Kevin Van Meter, author of Guerrillas of Desire: Everyday Resistance and Organizing to Make a Revolution Possible and Reading Struggles: Autonomist Marxism from Detroit to Turin and Back Again “Dalla Costa’s analysis of the New Deal is essential reading for contemporary theorists of racial patriarchal capitalism. Centered on the nexus of the state, the family, social reproduction, and popular struggles in a period of dramatic change, Family, Welfare, and the State’s historically situated argument feels prescient. Dalla Costa’s feminist analysis of the Keynesian prequel to neoliberalism, which attends to the crisis of waged work and social reproduction in the 1930s, is critically important to our present imagination of—and struggle against —neoliberalism’s sequel.”—Kathi Weeks, author of The Problem with Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics, and Postwork Imaginaries “Through the prism of working-class self-organization, Mariarosa Dalla Costa traces the historical development of the welfare state in the United States. She details the ways in which the family was instituted as the basic unit of social organization and the role bestowed upon women in the reproduction of labor power. Widening the lens, Dalla Costa maps the broader configurations of gender, race, and class that the welfare state was built upon to reveal its systematic exclusions. Family, Welfare, and the State is an important book for a time when we confront the fallout of neoliberal restructuring. Against nostalgia, the current challenge is not to return to the past, but to struggle for a better future.”—Emma Dowling, author of The Care Crisis: What Caused It and How Can We End It? “Mariarosa Dalla Costa’s landmark study of working-class struggles and the US state in the early decades of the twentieth century vividly illustrates how capitalist development passes through both family and home. The Great Depression, Dalla Costa argues, involved a massive crisis in the social reproduction of labor-power. She shows how militant movements by unemployed and employed workers prompted the New Deal state to intervene directly in the domestic sphere, inventing new norms for “women’s work” along the way. This prehistory of the welfare rights and wages for housework movements will remain essential reading for activists and scholars in the twenty-first century and beyond.”—Andrew Anastasi, editor and translator of The Weapon of Organization: Mario Tronti’s Political Revolution in Marxism “The revival of Italian workerist and autonomist thought among the English-speaking left today makes Family, Welfare, and the State indispensable reading. In it, Mariarosa Dalla Costa offers an expansive notion of class autonomy and a compelling historical inquiry into the subjects of class struggle in the New Deal era—women, Black workers, the unhoused, the unemployed, students, and others—that is, the marginalized or too-often ignored reproductive elements that, complimentary to the productive sector, compose capitalist society and are just as indispensable to its subversion.”—Magally A. Miranda Alcázar, cofounder of SALT: Xicana Marxist Thoughts and former editor at Viewpoint Magazine

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