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Dr Nazanin ShahrokniIS221/LBST 201, Lecture THREE, 2024

Race & Gender

in global capitalism

Gender, Race & Development

Gender & Development

Race & Development

Song of the Day

on the agenda

First Assignment

The color of development

RAcial Capitalism

Lemann 2020

The history of global capitalism is a history of wages as well as whips, of factories as well as plantations, of whiteness as well as blackness, of ‘freedom’ as well as slavery.

Gilmore places emphasis on the way in which capitalism requires inequality and ‘racism enshrines it’.

Racial Capitalism

Access to cheaper inputs is just as important as access to widening markets in keeping profitable opportunities open. The implication is that non-capitalist territories should be forced open not only to trade (which could be helpful) but also to permit capital to invest in profitable ventures using cheaper labour power, raw materials, low-cost land, and the like. Global capitalism is a colonial process involving invasion, settlement, expropriation, and racial hierarchy.

RAcial capitalism, a concept coined by Cedric robinson

Primitive accumulation refers to the original accumulation of capital by expropriation of small producers, from which capitalist production was able to start. Marx viewed the colonization of the Americas & the African slave trade as important instances of primitive accumulation.

Whether it is mining, hydroelectric construction, or oil exploration, these development projects are usually accompanied by environmental degradation & sometimes also militarization& violence that endanger the possibilities of maintaining indigenous peoples’ own social & cultural institutions (KUOKKANEN 2008).

The Chinese workers who helped build the Transcontinental Railroad were paid 30% to 50% less than their white counterparts and were given the most dangerous work...Despite Chinese workers' contributions to building America’s historic infrastructure project, Chang says their history is often forgotten.

What made the cotton economy boom in the United States, and not in all the other far-flung parts of the world with climates and soil suitable to the crop, was our nation’s unflinching willingness to use violence on nonwhite people and to exert its will on seemingly endless supplies of land and labor.

The large herds of buffalo & the nomadic Plains Indians, impeded initiatives such as the transcontinental railroad & were regarded as obstacles. White buffalo hunters, US military, merchants, & white settlers engaged in the systematic slaughter of the buffalo & drove the Plains Indian nations to extinction.

Chinese immigrants contributed mightily to the construction of the first national and transcontinental railroads both in the US and in Canada], but the historical accounts that followed often marginalized their role.

History matters

The gender of development

Sexualized Capitalism

Reproductive labor comprises mostly unpaid or under-paid activities that reproduce the work force - this includes daily activities as cooking, washing clothes but also bearing children. The term reproductive labor emphasizes the role of those activities within the production process, namely the reproduction of the work-force. Reproductive labor is mostly carried out by women.

the centrality of Reproductive labor in global capitalism

Whose work counts?

Capabilities Approach Social (& Economic) Human Rights

DAWN INITIATIVE Change from the bottom

CEDAW UN EQUITY AGENDA Institutionalisation of Gender Equality

Reaction to Neo-Liberalism + Post-modernism Post-colonialism Late 1980s

Marxism Emergence of the New Left Late 1970s

Reaction to Keynesian Approach (Woman as dependent) 1960s

Gender and Development

Women and Development



Women in Development

the interlocking systems of oppression

Capitalism Colonialism patriarchy

how cotton changed the world

Cotton was to the 19th century what oil was to the 20th: among the world’s most widely traded commodities. But cotton needed land. A field could only tolerate a few straight years of the crop before its soil became depleted. The United States solved its land shortage by expropriating millions of acres from Native Americans, often with military force, acquiring Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Florida. It then sold that land on the cheap — just $1.25 an acre in the early 1830s ($38 in today’s dollars) — to white settlers. Enslaved workers felled trees by ax, burned the underbrush and leveled the earth for planting. ‘‘Whole forests were literally dragged out by the roots,’’ John Parker, an enslaved worker, remembered. By 1831, the country was delivering nearly half the world’s raw cotton crop, with 350 million pounds picked that year. Southern white elites grew rich, as did their counterparts in the North, who erected textile mills to form, in the words of the Massachusetts senator Charles Sumner, an ‘‘unhallowed alliance between the lords of the lash and the lords of the loom.’’ The large-scale cultivation of cotton hastened the invention of the factory, an institution that propelled the Industrial Revolution and changed the course of history. Slavery, wrote one of its defenders, was the ‘‘nursing mother of the prosperity of the North.’’ Cotton planters, millers and consumers were fashioning a new economy, a capitalist economy. ‘‘The beating heart of this new system,’’ Beckert writes, ‘‘was slavery.’’


The past is present

Militarization: War has become ‘essential to the functioning of the major capitalist economies’. Global economic interests & military interests are mutuallysustained & mutually reinforcing.

Extractivism & environmental damage

Dispossession & displacement land theft


25/100 Points



First 750-word essay

watch these two ViDEOS

Write a 750-word essay addressing the following questions:What kinds of inequalities do you see in these videos? What roles does global development play in creating/alleviating these inequalities? (macro level analysis) How has global development shaped the everyday lives of these women? In your essay pay attention both to the enabling and disabling effects of global development. (micro level analysis)

Need more guidance, check out these tips provided by SFU library. Click here!

Do not exceed the word limit. For every extra 10 words, you will lose 1/25 points. So if you write 800 words, you will lose 5/25. Citations and references do not count towards your word limit.Do not delay submission. Essays are due on Canvas at 4pm on Thursday February 1st. Late submission will be penalized. It is your responsibility to make sure essays are uploaded properly. If you submit after the submission deadline on Thursday you will lose 5/25 points. For each day of delay, you will lose an additional 5/25 points. Essays submitted on or after Monday will not be graded.Do not plagiarize. See syllabus for instructions.Do not share your outlines or drafts with me.

Rules of the game

Do not....


Your responses should be written in essay format. So you need an introductory paragraph, a few paragraphs of discussion, and a short concluding paragraph.Engage with the course concepts (e.g. gender, race, uneven development, etc) & draw on at least 4 key readings from the first three weeks.Cite your sources. You can use any referencing style you choose but be consistent.