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Mezzadri, Alessandra and Majumder, Sanjita (2022) 'Towards a Feminist Political Economy of Time Labour Circulation, Social Reproduction and the ‘Afterlife’ of Cheap Labour.' Review of International Political Economy, 29 (6). pp. 1804-1826.

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This article explores ‘time’ as a crucial category of analysis shaping and shaped by the dynamics of exploitation and social reproduction across the global assembly line. Focusing on the Indian garment industry, the article develops a feminist political economy of time stressing the productive and reproductive temporalities of exploitation, which give rise to multiple forms of labour circulation, including early exit from industrial work. Then, the study places this early exit under the microscope, and analyses the ‘afterlife’ available to women workers outside the factory, which often involves a transition back to informal occupations. The narrative draws both on extensive knowledge of India’s garment sweatshops, and on the detailed analysis of twenty life histories of women former factory workers in Bengaluru. The investigation of the feminist political economy of time of the global assembly line developed here suggests the presence of a revolving door between industrial and informal work in the lives of the working classes. It disproves linear global industrial development narratives constructing industrial work as ‘better work’ and contributes to feminist IPE debates by illustrating how social reproduction – its rhythms, temporalities, and everyday necessities – concretely co-constitutes the world of work across the global economy.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: feminist political economy, global sweatshop, time, labour circulation, women workers, social reproduction, post-industrial work
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Development Studies
ISSN: 09692290
Copyright Statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Review of International Political Economy on 17 Dec 2020, available online: © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2020 10:58
Related URLs: https://www.tan ... /rrip20/current (Publisher URL)
Funders: Other

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