Social Reproduction Theory (SRT) centers the production and reproduction of labor power under capitalism. This power to labor is determined individually, socially, and in relation to the totality of capital. These powers are produced and reproduced in and through social relations that, while capitalist, have tremendously diverse local conditions and histories. SRT provides a framework to think through the oppressive logics shaping the production, reproduction, and potencies of labor powers understood as diversely constituted. It argues that SRT is committed to the diversity of these labor powers over and against conditions that constrain both these powers and their actualizations in forms amenable to capital. It shows how SRT can offer resources to value the powers to work to satisfy human needs beyond exploitative and other oppressive social dynamics. Specifically, the paper highlights how a normative commitment to labor power can help SRT respond to charges of productivism, ableism, and narrow versions of workerism that are often leveled against left commitments to labor power. Building upon what I understand to be SRT’s normative critique of the form of labor power as constituted through capitalist social relations, the paper concludes by pointing to how SRT can promote struggles for social relations in which labor power could produce, actualize, and reproduce itself in freer ways.
"Social Reproduction Theory and the Form of Labor Power."
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
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