In this article Zuzana Uhde (Czech Academy of Sciences) develops a critical analysis of transformations of the idea and practice of women’s emancipation in late-modern western society under the influence of globalizing advanced capitalism. It builds on analyses of feminist critical theory and critical globalization studies and argues that global capitalism initiates processes in which the practice of emancipation is distorted.
Distorted emancipation refers to the social consequences of the marketization and commodification of areas of social life that were previously excluded from market relationships. Care practices, which have been a fundamental issue in women’s emancipatory struggles, are used as a reference point. The article argues that even if commodification creates certain possibilities for financial rewards of care, it institutionalizes a double misrecognition of care as both nonproductive work and paid work that cannot be a source of social recognition. Furthermore, distorted emancipation makes positive moments of changing gender patterns available only for some groups of women in socioeconomically, geopolitically or culturally privileged positions. These positive moments are dependent on transnational care practices, which are understood as a manifestation of distorted emancipation. Read the full article