A Value-Theoretic Approach to Childbirth and Reproductive Engineering Cover Image
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A szülés és a reproduktív technológiák értékelméleti megközelítése
A Value-Theoretic Approach to Childbirth and Reproductive Engineering

Author(s): Kathryn Russell
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences, Social Sciences, Economy, Gender Studies, Marxist economics, Sociology, Political economy, Politics and society, Social Theory, Family and social welfare, Demography and human biology
Published by: Fordulat
Keywords: value theory;reproductive labour;social reproduction;reproductive engineering;commodification;

Summary/Abstract: Social and technical changes in reproduction are drawing childbirth into the marketplace. People are creating new relations that separate genetic, gestational and social parentage. Reproductive engineering makes options of in vitro fertilization, embryo transfer, surrogacy, and fetal tissue transplants. This paper explores an analogy between childbearing and social labor, arguing that the labor theory of value gives insight into the social functions of childbirth under capitalism. The valorization of childbearing is consistent with other ways of socializing the reproduction of labor power despite the capitalists need for an autonomously functioning private household sector. A value-theoretic approach is necessary to reveal how childbearing is being placed in material relation with other forms of labor under capitalism. Neither reproductive engineering nor biological difference are themselves sources of oppression for women, but when found in a historical context where value can be extracted, childbearing can become a form of alienated labor.

  • Issue Year: 2018
  • Issue No: 24
  • Page Range: 161-186
  • Page Count: 26
  • Language: Hungarian