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Feminist Review

, Volume 87, Issue 1, pp 40–59 | Cite as

the feminization of labour in cognitive capitalism

  • Cristina Morini
Article

Abstract

The article starts with a definition of the concept feminization of labour. It aims to signal how, at both the Italian and the global level, precarity, together with certain qualitative characteristics historically present in female work, have become decisive factors for current productive processes, to the point of progressively transforming women into a strategic pool of labour. Since the early 1990s, Italy has seen a massive increase in the employment of women, within the wave of legislation that has introduced various flexible contracts – so-called atypical work. I show how cognitive capitalism tends to prioritize extracting value from relational and emotional elements, which are more likely to be part of women's experiential baggage. The results of a study conducted in November 2006 among freelance workers of the Rizzoli Corriere della sera group, the largest publishing group in Italy, will be used to show how women are able to move more easily on the shifting sands of precarity, within the context of cognitive work.

Keywords

feminization of labour cognitive capitalism relational values knowledge workers Italian case studies 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I am grateful to the Sconvegno group in Milan, Italy for discussing parts of this text with me. I am also indebted to the suggestions by Judith Revel, Università Nomade and the staff of the journal Posse. I would like to thank Andrea Fumagalli, Carlo Vercellone and Stefano Lucarelli for helpful comments on a first draft of this paper. The suggestions and comments from an anonymous referee greatly improved the paper. I thank her. The usual caveats apply.

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Copyright information

© Feminist Review Ltd 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cristina Morini

There are no affiliations available

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