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Invisible labour: legal dimensions of invisibilization

Journal of Law and Society

Published online on


["Journal of Law and Society, Volume 49, Issue 2, Page 385-405, June 2022. ", "\nAbstract\nThis article brings a legal perspective to bear on debates about invisible labour. It argues that we can better understand the causes and implications of invisible labour and its relationship with gender equality by engaging, first, with the law's role in constituting human labour as work, and, second, with how this role influences the way in which the law comes to conceptualize that work for the purposes of regulating it. The article focuses on two categories of invisible labour: reproductive labour, performed predominantly on an unpaid basis in the home, and invisible work, labour that is procured through a wage relation and produces a surplus for firms/organizations, but that is not recognized as such for the purposes of legal regulation. It identifies different dimensions of these categories of invisible labour, explaining them by reference to distinctive features of legal doctrine, while teasing out their socio‐economic, and often gendered, implications.\n"]