The Home as Laboratory: Finance, Housing, and Feminist Struggle (Paperback)
  • The Home as Laboratory: Finance, Housing, and Feminist Struggle (Paperback)
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The Home as Laboratory: Finance, Housing, and Feminist Struggle (Paperback)

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£12.95
Paperback 112 Pages
Published: 30/05/2024
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The home has become a laboratory for capital but also for forms of financial disobedience. 

It has become increasingly clear that home is not a site of private life and isolation, but a battleground where the conflict over the reorganization of working days, over what even counts as labor, is waged. In the very spaces that capital historically sought to portray as an “unproductive” and apolitical space, and refused to pay for, now emerge new forms of debt and profit extraction. Although the home has been transformed into a favored site of finance’s colonization of social life and of experimentation for capital, this is not a finished process—or one without its resistance. 

The Home as Laboratory traces this story through the links between debt and financial technologies, the violence of property, and reproductive and feminized labor, and everyday forms of feminist organizing. Drawing on militant research and interventions with feminist organizers in informal settlements and renters’ organizations in Buenos Aires, Luci Cavallero, Verónica Gago, and Liz Mason-Deese offer a powerful feminist methodology that points to the vital space of the home as an open dispute. They critically analyze the changes that have occurred in domestic routines, in labor dynamics, in the very cuts imposed by the pandemic’s reorganization of the sensible and of logistics. Thus, the home—its spatiality, functioning, and dynamics—suffered from reconfigurations during these novel years of the COVID-19 pandemic that have not ended. Yet, these processes are also resisted by feminist organizations, which have put the question of debt at the forefront of alliance-building, political education, and public interventions. 

The Home as Laboratory provides key insights into transformations in the home leading up to and during the pandemic, showing how what was historically considered an “unproductive space” became a crucial laboratory for capital and new financial technologies. Luci Cavallero, Verónica Gago, and Liz Mason-Deese analyze how the home has become a site of battles over what work is considered essential, the intensification of paid and unpaid work, often at the same time, the expansion of new forms of financial extraction, and multiple and interconnected forms of violence. But, importantly, by highlighting the research and action of feminist and housing organizations, they also demonstrate how these processes are being resisted on a daily basis.

Publisher: Common Notions
ISBN: 9781945335075
Number of pages: 112
Dimensions: 127 x 203 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

“In The Home as Laboratory, Cavallero, Gago, and Mason-Deese offer a pithy and urgent feminist analysis of the debt traps posed by the neoliberal precarious home. These debts are extracted disproportionately from the growing informal class of nonwaged gendered care workers whose vital ‘essential work’ became momentarily visible during the global pandemic. The authors examine the aftermath of the pandemic re-ordering of ‘home’ and work life, from their vantage point of the precarious peripheries of Buenos Aires, and offer what are in fact global lessons for feminist mobilization against debt and the financialization of the home.” —Paula Chakravartty, James Weldon Johnson Associate Professor of Media Studies, NYU“The personal is political! Such a foundational feminist statement has undeniable economic implications: capitalism cannot be grasped without understanding the everyday functioning of homes. This does not mean sticking to the standard complaint, ‘Oh, how important but overlooked reproductive work is!’ but instead, identifying how this role is reconstructed and challenged. Home as Laboratory shows how homes were used as a laboratory during the COVID-19 pandemic to test new forms of value extraction in financial capitalism. But it goes further: while a reprivatization of reproduction is imposed,  Cavallero, Gago, and Mason-Deese show us that our task is to render visible the ‘domestic territories’ that overflow beyond four walls. There lie the possibilities for imagining and enacting a common responsibility in maintaining life and rebelling against capital—an urgent and collective task.” —Amaia Pérez Orozco, author of The Feminist Subversion of the Economy“If you remember the COVID-19 pandemic as a suspension of the rules of ordinary life, this compelling book will wake you up. Our confinement indoors was not a refuge from the specters of capital afoot outside. Instead, it allowed our homes to be a proving ground for new capitalist forms that were busy transforming the gendered character of work, shelter, and finance, while turbo-charged currents of debt swirled all around us. Home as Laboratory offers a breathtaking analysis!” —Andrew Ross, author of Creditocracy and the Case for Debt Refusal“Debt, violence, domestic labor, rent, eviction, fintech, production of value, insecurity, poverty, desperation, love, racism, gender mandates and property titles—what happens when we analyze the circuits of financial capital from the place we call home? This brilliant book by leading scholar-activists Luci Cavallero, Verónica Gago, and Liz Mason-Deese is the Grundrisse for just such a radical left feminist project. Read it now!” —Wendy Brown, author of In the Ruins of Neoliberalism: The Rise of Anti-Democratic Politics in the West“Elegantly translated, and lucidly argued, Home as Laboratory provides a much-needed post-COVID-19 analysis of the ways that households have become spaces for experimentation for new dynamics of capital. Expanding existing Global South feminist theory and resistance in practice, Cavallero, Gago, and Mason-Deese forcefully demonstrate how the intensification of social reproduction exploitation and extraction via apparatuses like debt has been brutal. Home as Laboratory offers us more than just critique; it inspires autonomous feminist struggle and hope wherever the tentacles of financial capitalism need be severed.” —Jason Thomas Wozniak, assistant professor at West Chester University, codirector of the Latin American Philosophy of Education Society, and organizer with Debt Collective“By weaving together detailed social inquiry with innovative theoretical investigations, Luci Cavallero, Verónica Gago, and Liz Mason-Deese provide both a model for research and an orientation for future lines of struggle.” —Michael Hardt, author of The Subversive Seventies and coauthor of Bolivia Beyond the Impasse

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