Social reproduction and capitalist production: A genealogy of dominant imaginaries

Jamie Winders, Barbara Ellen Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


This article offers a critical genealogy of the dominant imaginaries through which social reproduction, particularly in relation to capitalist production, has been examined in key feminist literatures since the 1960s. Feminist scholars have long observed that the distinction between production and social reproduction in capitalist societies manifests as an opposition between ‘work’ and ‘home,’ but they have implicitly envisioned and interpreted that opposition in diverse ways that crucially connect with geography. We offer this analysis in order to clarify how different imaginaries embedded in and shaping approaches to social reproduction both illuminate and occlude the social reproduction-production nexus. Although this critical genealogy leaves us better prepared to address conceptual shortcomings within different understandings of this nexus, we still lack an approach that grasps the complex workings of this interface in a moment of rising precarité across the globe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)871-889
Number of pages19
JournalProgress in Human Geography
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019


  • domestic labor
  • feminist geography
  • production
  • social reproduction
  • work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development


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