3.01.2005

We are always talking about how fewer women get bylines in the upper eschelons of American arts and letters, but at some point the analysis has to advance far beyond that, and to really parse apart what that actually means. I don't necessarily have the answers, but one of the things that I'm interested in at the moment is the idea of a feminist approach to economics (which, I'd like to note, I never heard once in four years of economics classes):
What are the questions that feminist economics is asking?

I think that many feminists are concerning themselves with these issues of women and work and labor markers, issues that have to do with women in the economy. But I think that that there are also many feminist economists that are trying to rethink economic theory and go beyond critiquing neoclassical theory and put together an alternative approach for maybe even a new vocabulary that we can use to think about some of the traditional issues such as the meaning of value, productivity, and human satisfaction. The whole idea of production distribution and consumption has been expanded by ecological economists. You produce, distribute, consume a good and then either it gets recycled around into different productions or something else happens to it. All of this takes place within a limited ecological reality. You have to consider the economy as not an open but a closed system. There is a parallel way in which the feminist economists are starting to think about the social context in which the economy is situated. You cannot continue to exploit women and the underclass, there is a limit to how you can treat people and still have the same continuum. So I see a lot of parallels between the environmental and feminist critique of neoclassical economics and their alternatives to the consumer culture that enhance and build on the new ideas that are coming out of both fields.
From Interviews with Feminist Economists.

-Lauren
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