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The Economization of Life

Michelle Murphy
Michelle Murphy

Michelle Murphy is Professor of History and Women and Gender Studies at the University of Toronto and the author of Seizing the Means of Reproduction: Entanglements of Feminism, Heath, and Technoscience and Sick Building Syndrome and the Problem of Uncertainty: Environmental Politics, Technoscience, and Women Workers, both also published by Duke University Press.

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April 2017

The concluding coda takes a stance against population as a useful concept. Climate change has recharged the concept of population within policy and politics. In contrast, the coda argues that population, as a concept for governing human fertility, is infused with racisms and dangerous designations of surplus life. Reopening the question of what infrastructures have been reproduced in the name of governing fertility, the coda puts forward the alternative concept of distributed reproduction, a concept that stretches beyond bodies to critically investigate the extensive relations that support or diminish life. The coda calls for refusing the infrastructures and imaginaries that were built, and not built, for the sake of economy and population.

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