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Between the transnational and the local: mapping the trajectories and contexts of the Wages for Housework campaign in 1970s Italian feminism

Bracke, M.A. (2013) Between the transnational and the local: mapping the trajectories and contexts of the Wages for Housework campaign in 1970s Italian feminism. Women's History Review, 22 (4). pp. 625-642. ISSN 0961-2025 (doi:10.1080/09612025.2012.751771 )

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Abstract

This article explores the transnational, national and local origins and contexts of the Wages for Housework campaign in 1970s Italy and the Padua-based group Lotta Femminista (Feminist Struggle) which coordinated it. The significance of the campaign and its legacy in Italian and transnational feminism are critically assessed. The origins of the campaign as it emerged in early-1970s Italy are traced by looking at the transnational activist trajectories of its two protagonists, Selma James and Mariarosa Dalla Costa. Further, the reasons why the campaign found relatively more support in Italy than elsewhere are explained by looking at the lack of women's financial independence due to rising unemployment and relatively low wages. The local context is placed at the centre of attention, as the ideological origins of Wages for Housework are traced in operaismo (workerism) and autonomist thought and practice, which were influential in radical-left and feminist milieux in the industrial area of Porto Margera and Padua around 1970. The article demonstrates the need for an understanding of 1970s feminisms that is fully cognisant of the interplay between transnational transfers and local recontextualisation, and presents an approach for doing so.

Item Type:Article
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bracke, Dr Maud
Authors: Bracke, M.A.
Subjects:D History General and Old World > D History (General)
D History General and Old World > DG Italy
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > History
Journal Name:Women's History Review
ISSN:0961-2025
ISSN (Online):1747-583X
Published Online:15 April 2013

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
516351Women, work and double militancy: feminism and the workers? movement in Europe, 1960-1980Maud BrackeBritish Academy (BRIT-ACAD)SG-54122History