The place of children and childhood in social reproduction
The concept ‘social reproduction’ refers to the structural inequalities that mark the distribution of the material resources necessary to reproduce and sustain human life. This half day seminar seeks to renew the concept of social reproduction by interrogating it from the perspectives of different life stages and from diverse positionings within the global economy. How is social reproduction to be understood within the current context of globalisation? How does global competition, HIV, feminisation of migration, limited safety nets, increased longevity and changing expectations of different life stages impact on social production? Do, for instance, female migration, transnational households and ‘global care chains’ reliant on grandparent and children’s labour to replace that of female migrants require a renewed conceptualisation of social reproduction? Are economic reform programmes, the global financial crisis, and increasing pauperisation exacerbating the ‘squeeze on care’, commoditising social reproduction or changing the relations of care within families and societies as well as between countries? If the relations of care and support are changing, what are the policy implications?
Karen Wells (Birkbeck College) – The place of children and childhood in social reproduction