They Call It Love: The Politics of Emotional Life (Hardcover)
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The work of love is a feminist problem, and it demands feminist solutions
Comforting a family member or friend, soothing children, providing company for the elderly, ensuring that people feel well enough to work; this is all essential labour. Without it, capitalism would cease to function. They Call It Love investigates the work that makes a haven in a heartless world, examining who performs this labor, how it is organised, and how it might change. In this groundbreaking book, Alva Gotby calls this work “emotional reproduction,” unveiling its inherently political nature. It not only ensures people’s well-being but creates sentimental attachments to social hierarchy and the status quo. Drawing on the thought of the feminist movement Wages for Housework, Gotby demonstrates that emotion is a key element of capitalist reproduction. To improve the way we relate to one another will require a radical restructuring of society.
About the Author
Alva Gotby holds a PhD in Media Studies from the University of West London and an MA in Philosophy and Contemporary Critical Theory from the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Kingston University. Her writing has been published in MaI: Feminism and Visual Culture, Blindfield: A Journal of Cultural Inquiry, and Feminist Review, as well as in outlets in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. She frequently speaks at conferences related to Marxism, feminism and queer politics.
“A fascinating and exhaustive explanation as to why emotions are a political issue.”
—Brit Dawson, AnOther Magazine
“They Call It Love shines a light on the invisible labour involved in love, examining who is responsible for performing it, how it can blossom, and why we do it.”
—Adele Walton, Dazed