Edited by Laura J. Shepherd
Chapter 24: Gender and economic violence
This chapter considers the relationship between gender, economy and violence. Encouraging the reader to think broadly – both in terms of the meanings of violence and its possible locations – the chapter engages with existing approaches to gender and violence in the contemporary global political economy to consider gender, economy and violence crucial practices of power in world politics. While violence is often, and for good reason, associated with destruction and suffering, its role in creating and organising key elements of human life should not be underestimated. This chapter intentionally focuses on some of the productive, ordering aspects of violence in economic terms to argue that violence lies at the heart of the formation and maintenance of human life systems. This chapter echoes the assumption, made in feminist work in all disciplines, that gender is a foundational social distinguisher, and is therefore a core component both of how a person sees the world and how the world sees them. Focusing on the category of ‘economy’, this chapter examines the discourses of meaning and identity formation on which economic practices, processes, structures and actors depend to reveal some of the locations of gendered violence. Importantly, the meaning of ‘violence’ here is not just something done to human bodies; it is also something capable of creating the very identities of those bodies. Practices of economic violence include various forms of deprivation, harm and trauma; but they also include dynamic configurations of transformation, resistance, activism and collective struggle.
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