chapter  three
12 Pages

Staying Alive

WithNancy C.M. Hartsock

Patriarchy and capitalism work together to define “women’s work” as suited only to creatures of limited talent and ambition; the sex segregation of the labor market ensures that women’s work will be especially dehumanizing. One of the characteristics of advanced capitalist society is the separation of the conception of work from its execution. This division between mental and manual labor—which also shapes the process of estranged labor—is an expression of the power relations between the rulers and the ruled, and is closely related to the concept of power as domination. Having power and dominating others is commonly associated with conceptual or mental work; subordination, with execution, or with manual. Specific questions about how to restructure the labor process can be grouped under the two general headings of problems of power and problems about the division between mental and manual labor.