The New School, a progressive private university in Manhattan, offers a course this semester in “feminist economics.”
The course, which was originally covered by Campus Reform, is taught by New School professor Sheba Tejani and seeks to reinvent the way that America approaches solving economic issues.
According to the course description, the course focuses on “radically reconceptualizing” the study of economics so that it focuses on remedying gender inequities.
Feminist economics might be imagined as a way of radically reconceptualizing and reorienting the study of economics rather than just an approach to make gender inequalities visible. Taking such a position, this course surveys foundational and contemporary feminist scholarship on epistemology, methodology and economic theory in order to trace their evolution over time and explore their transformative potential.
The course invites students to explore “theoretical interventions” made by feminist scholars on issues such as free choice, rationality, and discrimination.
We will survey important theoretical interventions made by feminists on the gendered nature of standard microfoundational assumptions such as free choice and rationality, new ways of conceptualizing discrimination and expanding the boundaries of the discipline to include socio-cultural norms and non-market spheres in the analysis.
The course description says students will read the academic journal article, “The Unhappy Marriage of Marxism and Feminism: Towards a more Progressive Union.” Published in 1979, the article highlighted the tension between Marxism and feminism in academic circles. According to the article, feminist perspectives have taken a backseat to Marxist perspectives in academia.
This paper argues that the relation between marxism and feminism has, in all the forms it has so far taken, been an unequal one. While both marxist method and feminist analysis are necessary to an understanding of capitalist societies, and of the position of women within them, in fact feminism has consistently been subordinated. The paper presents a challenge to both marxist and radical feminist work on the “woman question”, and argues that what it is necessary to analyse is the combination of patriarchy and capitalism. It is a paper which, we hope, should stimulate considerable debate.