Radical equality, care and labour in a community economy

Gradon Diprose

The reproductive and care work predominantly undertaken by women has historically been undervalued in traditional measures of the economy. However, calls for more work, or better work for women (and men) doesn’t necessarily solve the issues surrounding waged labour such as zero hour contracts, the ‘double work day’, and other forms of increasing precarity and competition. In this article I explore how alternative forms of labour exchange in the Wellington Timebank provide one way in which subjects can partially operate outside the waged economy. I draw on Jacques Rancière’s understanding of how a radical equality underpins a democratic politics to explore the everyday negotiations around labour that occur in this alternative economy. I connect work being done by the Community Economies Collective to ideas of radical equality and a feminist ethic of care to show how embodied and everyday practices like timebanking enable subjects to challenge the inequalities of waged work and in Rancière’s terms, partially construct alternative ‘distributions of the sensible’.

Suggested citation

Diprose, G. 2017. "Radical equality, care and labour in a community economy" Gender, Place & Culture, 24(6): 834-850.