A one day conference on Social Reproduction Theory in Scotland to be held online on Saturday 22nd May.
In the last decade Scotland has seen a decline in life expectancy, a falling birth rate, record rates of drug related deaths and, since 2017, growing rates of incarceration. In short, Scotland faces a crisis of reproduction.
The economic crisis of 2008, and subsequent crises, have generated a wave of new critical scholarship. This has, however, primarily focused on investigations of the productive economy, despite recognition that the productive and reproductive spheres cannot be understood separately from one another.
Social Reproduction Theory (SRT), a key contribution by Marxist feminists, offers a framework for better understanding the multifaceted social, political and economic crises of recent years. There has been a resurgence of interest in SRT recently, generating important new insights about historic and contemporary social processes. While SRT initially focused primarily on the family, contemporary literature considers wider gendered and racialised processes of social reproduction such as immigration and the provision of public services (Bhattacharya, 2017). This new scholarship emphasizes that sites of social reproduction, in the family, community, around housing issues, care or other public services, forge the labour force necessary for capitalism to function and, critically, can be sites of resistance equally as important as the traditional workplace (Mohandesi and Teitelman, 2017).
This new scholarship has primarily emerged from studies in the North American setting (e.g. Ferguson, 2020; Jaffe, 2020; Bhattacharya, 2017). We are organizing a one day conference on Social Reproduction Theory in Scotland for two reason: firstly, because we believe applying the SRT framework can enhance our understanding of the social, political and economic dynamics of modern Scotland, and secondly, because Scotland offers a rich empirical terrain that can enhance and develop this theoretical perspective. From the unique processes that have shaped the relationships between gender, class, sexuality and racialised minorities in Scotland; episodes of collective action demanding changes to housing policy, the poll-tax and much else; experiences of welfare and austerity; the national question; gentrification and urban life; or transformations in the policing of drugs, Scotland provides a wealth of cases that can enhance our understand of global social phenomena.
Therefore, we invite contributions from scholars and activists on topics including, but not limited to:
- Unpaid care work, child-care and domestic labour
- Welfare state, service cuts and austerity
- Housing, tenant unions and rent strikes
- Youth criminalisation/incarceration and prison abolitionism
- Sexuality and gender identity
- Crisis in the care and protection system
- Scotland in the British Empire and imperialism
- Life under Covid-19 and lockdown
- 'Leisure time', sports and football culture, the club scene and concerts
- Violence against women
- Contemporary developments in psychology connected to understandings of power, threat and meaning framework)
- Specificities (and crises) of Scottish masculinity
Our intention is that this conference will form the basis of an edited academic book, with the goal of conference presentations eventually becoming chapters.
If you would like to participate in the conference please submit an abstract of no more than 400 words by no later than 31st March. Submissions should be sent to Jenny Morrison at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line SRT Conference. We also welcome submissions using photography, art or multimedia.
Keynote speakers include:
David McNally and Esther Breitenbach