2: Eco-Conscious Household Production and Capitalist Society


This chapter presents a Marxist-feminist model of household production in capitalism based on ethnographic interviews with eco-conscious parents of young children. In this model, households, capitalist firms, and the state rely on inputs from the other sectors in their production process to perpetuate their own existences and, in turn, that of capitalist society as a whole. Household production can take place using varying proportions of inputs, but changing the proportions of these inputs does not change the underlying production process let alone the organization of capitalist society. This model leads to the conclusion that the reproduction of labor-power that takes place in households and elsewhere cannot be divorced from the reproduction of capitalist society, nor from the human and environmental disasters inherent to it. This helps to explain why the ecologically conscious parents interviewed for this book feel exhausted, frustrated, guilty, and as if none of the pro-environmental interventions that they are turning into mundane everyday practices are actually making a difference.

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