Handbook of Political Anthropology
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Handbook of Political Anthropology

Edited by Harald Wydra and Bjørn Thomassen

This Handbook engages the reader in the major debates, approaches, methodologies, and explanatory frames within political anthropology. Examining the shifting borders of a moving field of enquiry, it illustrates disciplinary paradigm shifts, the role of humans in political structures, ethnographies of the political, and global processes. Reflecting the variety of directions that surround political anthropology today, this volume will be essential reading to understanding the interactions of humans within political frames in a globalising world.
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Chapter 18: Feminist theory and reproduction

Megan Moodie


This chapter, which focuses on the history of the concept of reproduction in feminist policial economy, makes two related arguments. One is about the intellectual history of U.S. feminist anthropology and how it might reanimate reproduction as an essential optic for a political anthropology approach to global capitalism. The second is a more ethnographic argument about the American public sphere, specifically a set of contemporary discussions about social mobility crystallized in Robert Putnam’s book (Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis) and media personage, and how these might be critically examined using the approach to reproduction described in part one. A key concern of this chapter is to emancipate reproduction from the birth of children per se and ensure that, rather than a feminized side-project of anthropology or political economy, it becomes a key component of contemporary studies of global capitalism and attendant national policies.

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