Nancy Fraser Capitalism And The Cunning Of History Summary

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Nancy Fraser’s Feminism, Capitalism and the Cunning of History provides a comprehensive account of second-wave feminism amid three distinct phases of shifting social and political structures emerging from a post-war setting, proceeding to neo-liberalist organization and presently shifting to a state characterised by a capitalist crisis. By organizing her article into three sections, Fraser systematically deconstructs the phases of state organization and how they interact with ideals of second-wave feminism. She explains how second-wave feminism was homologized by capitalist forces and functioned to legitimize structural transformations of capitalism which unenviably countered the very foundations of what feminists consider to be a just society.…show more content…
During this phase, the central premises of feminism were struggles against androcentrism, economic and political structures of society, and their enabling of gender injustices. For feminists, the post-war era was concerned with the transformation of “passive objects of welfare and development policy into active subjects” with respect to what Fraser identifies as recognition, redistribution and representation, while acknowledging the multifaceted nature of justice as an amalgamation of history, economy, culture and…show more content…
Concepts that had primarily focused on economic and political gender injustices, now took an intersectionist approach: accounting for class, race, sexuality and nationality, accommodating for housework, sexual orientations, reproduction and violence against women within its designation. It is important to note here, however, that Fraser reproduces divisions within this spectrum which identifies certain oppressions in the political sphere while situating others predominantly to culture. From this perspective, Fraser would not consider questions of sexuality, for example, as having any political roots; possibly because this assemblage does not inhabit a distinctive position in the labour market, therefore not constituting an exploited class. For Fraser, sexuality would essentially be a matter of recognition. However, if seen from a Marxist lens, it could be argued that Fraser’s rationale is flawed, as “the institution of the economic as a separate sphere is the consequence of an operation of abstraction initiated by capital itself” . It may be plausible to instead advocate an expansive conception which understands an overlapping of the political and the cultural, as opposed to viewing them in isolation with one

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