Economist Nancy Folbre to discuss importance of ‘care economy’

An emerita scholar of economics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst will give a free talk on Monday, March 16 at the University of Florida. Her lecture will examine how feminist social science applies to, and has the potential to change, traditional economic theory. The talk will be held at 5:30 pm in the Ustler Hall Atrium. This event is free and open to the public and includes time afterward for questions and discussion.

This lecture is the fifth in a series of six organized by the UF Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere entitled The Work of the Humanities: Critical Thinking in Life and Labor during the fall 2014 and spring 2015 semesters. This series will show how the humanities play a key role in understanding and shaping the future workplace.

In her talk, “Unpaid and Unpriced: Toward a Feminist Political Economy,” Nancy Folbre will focus on the importance of unpaid labor motivated by compassion and care.

Although domestic, volunteer, and other care oriented tasks are difficult to quantify and often excluded from market projections, they have real economic and social costs. By studying the relationship of quantifiable market exchange and the less quantifiable care economy, we can raise new questions about the relationship of self-interest and obligation and the distinction between private and public goods.

Folbre is Professor Emerita of Economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Much of her research focuses on the economic dimensions of care work and its impact on gender inequality. She recently edited For Love and Money: Care Provision in the U.S.  (Russell Sage Foundation, 2012), and has authored many articles and books, including Greed, Lust, and Gender: A History of Economic Ideas (Oxford, 2009). Between 2009 and 2014 she was a weekly contributor to the New York Times Economix blog.

The Work of the Humanities series is made possible by the Rothman Endowment and Yavitz Fund at the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Co-sponsorship comes from the UF Informatics Institute, Smathers Libraries, Honors Program, College of Public Health and Health Professions, Department of Political Science, Department of English and Phillip Wegner (Marston-Milbauer Eminent Scholar Chair), Department of Philosophy, Department of Classics, Elizabeth B. and William F. Poe Center for Business Ethics Education and Research, Pamela Gilbert (Albert Brick Professor), Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research, UF Research Computing, and the Bob Graham Center for Public Service.

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