Céline Bessière & Sibylle Gollac: The gender of capital. How families perpetuate wealth inequality

Klasse- og eliteseminaret (UiO) får denne gang besøk av Céline Bessière og Sibylle Gollac som vil presentere resultater fra deres prosjekt om klasse, akkumulering av formue og kjønn. Deres nyeste bok Le Genre du capital: Comment la famille reproduit les inégalités er basert på 15 år med etnografiske studier. Kombinert med statistisk materiale, belyser dette imponerende verket hvordan familier opprettholder formuesulikhet.

Når: tirsdag 16.september kl. 13.15-15.00
Hvor: Zoom

Why do women accumulate less wealth than men? Why do marital separations impoverish women while they do not prevent men from becoming wealthy? Céline Bessière (Paris Dauphine University) and Sibylle Gollac (CNRS) are sociologists. Drawing on research spanning twenty years, they analyze what they call family wealth arrangements. They break with the common understanding of the family as an emotional haven of peace in a brutal capitalist world. Spouses and partners, brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers do not play the same part in family strategies of social reproduction, nor do they reap the same profits from them. In reality, the family is an economic institution that produces, circulates, controls and evaluates wealth. The meaning of this economic institution is revealed, in particular, in moments of marital breakdown and inheritance. From the single mothers of the French “Yellow Vest” movement to the divorce of Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos, from the legacy of family businesses to the estate of the Trump family, the mechanisms of control and distribution of capital vary according to social class, yet always result in the disposession of women. Capital is gendered. Class society is perpetuated through the masculine appropriation of capital.


A review of the book by Joan Scott: March, 26, 2021, “How Families Reproduce the Inequalities of Capitalism“, by Joan Scott, European Journal of Sociology, 61, 3, 2021, pp. 437-439