Article Title

Taking Care


In this Commentary, Franke seeks to historically contextualize the Symposium contributions of Fineman and Williams. Given that both Fineman and Williams urge a larger role for the state, the market, and private employers in addressing the demands of human dependency, Franke turns to the experiences of African Americans in the immediate post-Civil War period to illuminate the precedent for externalizing the costs of dependency outside the family, as well as the complexities of so doing. The experiences of African Americans during this time instruct that public support brings with it a set of disciplinary norms that render that support a new site for both subjectivity and subjection. This historical example demonstrates how new opportunities for political identity and for agency cannot be analyzed apart from how private and public power is organized.

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