Categories
History Marxism Materialism

Money Sex and Power: Toward a Feminist Historical Materialism

Money Sex and Power: Toward a
Feminist Historical Materialism
Nancy C.M. HartsockLongman New York
and London
1983

Developing the concept of a feminist standpoint rooted in women’s daily, sensuous life activity, Money, Sex, and Power cogently and movingly explores the interweavings of epistemology, community, sexuality, and power. Hartsock examines the worldview-structuring aspects of gender in order to contribute to the construction of a feminist historical materialism rooted in the richness of historical female experience. Locating the core of this materialism at the epistemological level of reproduction, she insists that an adequate historical standpoint must put eros at the roots of a theory of power. She reformulates issues of sexuality under the heading of eros in order to take account of the broad meanings of fusion with another, sexuality and bodily pleasure, and creative activity. Drawing deeply from Marxist analyses, Hartsock shows how feminist theory transforms Marx’s understanding of the social relations structuring the production and reproduction of daily human life. Her nuanced readings of Marx’s approach to labor and the construction of a specific epistemological standpoint available to those who engage in the sensuous activity of labor lead her to suggest an original and fruitful development of feminist theories of knowledge and praxis.

Poster by See Red Women’s Workshop

In capitalism, women contribute both production for wages and production of goods in the home, that is, they, like men, sell their labor power and produce both commodities and surplus value, and produce use values in the home. Unlike men, however, women’s lives are institutionally defined by their production of use values in the home. Here we begin to encounter the narrowness of Marx’s concept of production. Women’s production of use values int he home has not been well understood by socialists. It is no surprise to feminist that Engels, for example, simply asks how women can continue to do the work in the home and also work in production outside of the home. Marx, too takes for granted women’s responsibility for household labor.

Money Sex and Power / page 234-235

Table of Contents

Part One
1. Exchange Theories: Conceptions of Community
…Homans on Social Behavior
…Blau on Social Exchange~
…The Differentiation of Power
…Conclusion

2. Rational Economic Man and the Problem of Community
…Rational Economic Man and His World
…The Circularity of Market Theory
…The Problem of Inaccuracy
…The Community: Instrumental, Fragile, and False
…The Class-Specific Roots of the Market Model
…Domination Versus Community
…Conclusion

3. The Market in Power: Legitimating Domination
…Lasswell and Kaplan: The Political Economy of Power
…The Consensual Community of Talcott Parsons
…The Pluralist Alternative: Dahl and Polsby
…Conclusion

4. Toward an Understanding of Domination: Critiques of Mainstream Theories of Power
…Bachrach, Baratz, and the Problematic of the Market
…Steven Lukes: Power, Responsibility, and Objective Interests
…Conclusion

5. The Market as Epistemology: The Exchange Abstraction in Theories of Power and Domination
…Exchange as Epistemology: The Capitalist Experience
…The Exchange Abstraction, Exchange Theories, and the Fetishism of Commodities
…Critics of Mainstream Theories of Power

6. Power and Class Struggle: Toward a Marxist Theory of Class Domination
…Circulation, Production, and the Standpoint of the Proletariat
…The Opposed Vision of Capitalist and Worker-Production
…The Alienation of Labor
…Production as Epistemology: The Worker’s Perspective
…Class Antagonism and Domination
…Science, Mediation, and the Achievement of Understanding
…The Liberatory Potential Embodies in a Standpoint
…Objectification, Alienation and Community
…Conclusion

Part Two
7. Gender and Power: Masculinity, Violence and Domination
…Sexuality and Society
…Hostility and Sexual Excitement
…Masculinity, Perversion, and Normality
…Sexuality, Power, and Hostility
…The Nature of Eros
…Fusion, Community, and the Death of the Other
…Shameful Sensuality: The Denial of the Body
…Generation, Creativity, and Death
…Conclusion: The Gender-Specific Roots of the Agonal Model of Community

8. The Erotic Dimension and the Homeric Ideal
…The Homeric Warrior-Hero
…The Founding of the Polis in Poetry and Philosophy
…The Nature of the Athenian Political Community
…Necessity and Oppression

9. An Alternative Tradition: Women on Power
…Hannah Arendt’s Reconstitution of the Public Realm
…Arendt on Power and Community
…The Significance of Arendt’s Theorization of Power
…Dorothy EmmetL Alternatives to Domination
…Hanna Pitkin: A Note on “Power To”
…Feminist Theories of Power
…Conclusion

10. The Feminist Standpoint: Toward a Specifically Feminist Historical Materialism
…The Sexual Division of Labor
…Abstract Masculinity and the Feminist Standpoint

11. Power, Class, and Gender: Questions for the Future
…Toward a More Adequate Theory and Practice Class and Gender: Some Speculation for Further Attention
…Conclusion

Appendix
1. The Kinship Abstraction in Feminist Theory
…Language, Symbols, and Values
…The Exchange of Women as Social Contract
…Lévi-Strauss’s Marxism

2. Simone de Beauvoir: Liberation or Escalating Domination?

3. Gayle Rubin: The Abstract Determinism of the Kinship System
…Rubin’s Reading of Lévi-Strauss
…Capitalist Production from the Perspective of the Exchange Abstraction
…The Kinship System and the Production of Gender
…Conclusion