Rethinking theory: Inequalities, informalization and feminist quandaries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Capitalist racist patriarchy is how Zillah Eisenstein (1998) characterizes global inequalities and the hierarchies of difference they constitute. This article assumes that feminist theory aims not only to empower women but to advance critical analyses of intersecting structural hierarchies; that this entails not only a critique of patriarchy but its complex conjunction with capitalism and racism; and that such critique requires rethinking theory. Through a critical lens on devalued (feminized) informal work worldwide, the article explores how positivist, modernist and masculinist commitments variously operate in prevailing theories of informality-including those of feminists-with the effect of impeding both intersectional analyses and more adequate critiques of capitalist racist patriarchy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-35
Number of pages31
JournalInternational Feminist Journal of Politics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2012


  • Critical theory
  • Difference
  • Feminism
  • Feminist theory
  • Gender
  • Global political economy
  • IR
  • Informal economy
  • Intersectionality
  • Masculinism
  • Modernism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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