Alva Gotby: They Call It Love
Verso, 2023, Hardcover, 192 pages, 21.5 × 14.5 cm
Comforting a family member or friend, soothing children, providing company for the elderly, ensuring that people feel well enough to work; this is all essential labour. Without it, capitalism would cease to function. They Call It Love investigates the work that makes a haven in a heartless world, examining who performs this labour, how it is organised, and how it might change. In this groundbreaking book, Alva Gotby calls this work 'emotional reproduction', unveiling its inherently political nature. It not only ensures people's well-being but creates sentimental attachments to social hierarchy and the status quo. Drawing on the thought of the feminist movement 'Wages for Housework', Gotby demonstrates that emotion is a key element of capitalist reproduction. To improve the way we relate to one another will require a radical restructuring of society.