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Mezzadri, Alessandra (2024) 'Value Theories in Motion: Circular Labour Migration, Unfinished Land Dispossession and Reproductive Struggles across the Urban-Rural Divide.' Environment and Planning F. (Forthcoming)

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This analysis theorises the central role of the urban–rural divide in the making of value relations and exploitation in contemporary labour regimes. Inspired by insights contained in Diane Elson’s ‘value theory of labour’ and informed by evidence on labour circulation in India’s ‘Sweatshop Regime’, the article combines Early Social Reproduction Analyses (ESRA) and debates on ‘forms of exploitation’ to illustrate the integrated nature of the circuits incorporating production and reproduction, use and exchange value across the urban–rural divide. It represents these circuits as a concrete instantiation of ‘value in motion’. In this schema, the countryside emerges as central to the regeneration of the urban labour regime; as key provider of labouring bodies; and as absorber of reproductive costs, also performing the function of ‘global housework’ for contemporary capitalism. The narrative is particularly attentive to post-industrial work trajectories, which further explain how partial land dispossession and informal work interplay to sustain the dynamic nature of value relations as well as workers’ livelihoods beyond factory labour. The conclusions stress the political implications of reproductive readings of value for labour struggles and pro-labour policy.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Development Studies
ISSN: 2634-9825
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2023 21:09
Funders: Other

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