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- December 24
WGSX Colloquium Event: Susan Feiner on 'From Flintstones to Jetsons: Consumerism, Overworked Women and Economic Stagnation'
Professor Feiner will explain the connections between the commodification of household life on the one hand, and the tendency toward economic stagnation on the other. She will show how the naturalization of domestic exploitation (the production and extraction of surplus labor within families) works to naturalize an ever-expanding menu of manufactured wants. Consumption-fulfilling those wants-has become such a large share of GDP (in the OECD the average is 54.7%, with the US leading this group of nations at 70.5%) that absent bubbles (dot com, housing) economies can't sustain decent levels of employment at decent wages. But generating full employment via bubble driven consumption does not reduce household exploitation. Feiner challenges us to think about ways to enhance social well being without driving consumption to even higher levels. The central elements of such changes are greater income equality, less work and greater democracy in our workplaces.
Part of the 15th Annual WGSX Colloquium, titled "Overworked and Underpaid: Gendered Labor in the 21st Century."