The Gender of Capital

The Gender of Capital

A joint seminar with MaxPo and OSC
with Céline Bessière, Sibylle Gollac and Hélène Périvier
  • 1950s family Gloucester Massachusetts USA ©Glenn CC BY-SA 2.01950s family Gloucester Massachusetts USA ©Glenn CC BY-SA 2.0

On Friday, October 9, 2020, at 12pm, join us for a discussion with French sociologists Céline Bessière (Université Paris-Dauphine) and Sibylle Gollac (CRESPPA Paris) on their latest book The Gender of Capital / Le Genre du Capital, fruit of twenty years of research. Their presentation will be followed by a discussion with Hélène Périvier, economist at the French Economic Observatory (OFCE) and director of Sciences Po's Gender Studies Programme PRESAGE.

The family: an inequality machine

We know that capitalism in the twenty-first century is synonymous with growing inequalities between social classes. What is less known is that the inequality of wealth between men and women is also increasing, despite formally equal rights and the belief that, by entering the labor market, women would have gained their autonomy. To understand why, we have to look at what is happening in families, which accumulate and transmit economic capital in order to consolidate their social position from one generation to the next. Spouses, brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers do not occupy the same positions in family reproductive strategies, nor do they benefit from the same benefits.

This book, The Gender of Capital, shows that capital has a genre. Céline Bessière and Sibylle Gollac investigate the calculations, the divisions and the conflicts which take place at the time of marital separations and inheritances, with the assistance of the legal professions. From isolated mothers in the Yellow Vests movement to the divorce of Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos, the transmission of small businesses to the legacy of Johnny Hallyday, the mechanisms of control and distribution of capital vary according to social class, but always lead to dispossession women. This book thus analyzes how class society is reproduced thanks to the male appropriation of capital.

Event details

The seminar will take place in the room Georges Lavau, located 98 rue de l’Université, 75007 Paris. The room capacityis limited to 20-25 persons, so space will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis.

This seminar will be a hybrid seminar, both in person and on Zoom.

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