This Article examines Bridgette Baldwin’s reworking of Ivan Illich’s notion of “shadow work.” Bridgette Baldwin’s article highlights the limits of shadow work’s definition – as unpaid labor in preparation for consumption. While the Author acknowledges that Illich’s identification of a shadow realm of consumption—and, by extension, production—is a powerful commentary and foreshadowing of our present times, he suggests that Bridgette Baldwin’s Article demonstrates how class still matters and how shadow work is not gender neutral. The Author posits that the full expanse of Illich’s shadow market can be seen by exploring the standpoint position of poor black and brown citizens. This Article brings to light the similarities between the “tough love,” privatization approach to welfare reform and recent attacks on collective bargaining, the dismantling of social programs, decreased contributions to healthcare, and the failure to create a large-scale jobs program—combined with increased tax cuts for the wealthy. Unfortunately, the welfare mother remains socio-economically central but conceptually marginal to the discontent expressed by a growing number of Americans. The Author cautions against ignoring the plight of the welfare mother while America builds a new political consciousness.
Davarian L. Baldwin, FROM WISCONSIN TO EGYPT AND BACK AGAIN: A COMMENT ON BRIDGETTE BALDWIN’S ANALYSIS OF THE SHADOW WORK THESIS, 34 W. New Eng. L. Rev. 475 (2012), http://digitalcommons.law.wne.edu/lawreview/vol34/iss2/7