Social Processes of Oppression in the Stratified Economy and Veblenian Feminist Post Keynesian Connections

By Zdravka Todorova

PKES Working Paper 2311

September 2023

Conceptions of social stratification and oppression should be central to Post Keynesian inquiry. The article takes a Veblenian feminist view to discuss aspects of oppression in economies of stratification, and outlines connections to areas of Post Keynesian economics. The article is structured around “five faces of oppression” delineated by political theorist Iris Young: exploitation, violence, powerlessness, cultural imperialism, and marginalization. The paper reframes those based on a conception of evolving social processes and diverse economic relations, and employs Veblen’s theory of surplus and stratification, which has a broad understanding of domination that goes beyond capital accumulation. The article provides illustrations of these interconnected aspects of oppression, and discusses how each is co-opted today. The article presents specific connections to Post Keynesian economic analysis and concludes by highlighting the potential of Post Keynesian economics for social justice.

Keywords: Stratification; Oppression; Thorstein Veblen; Feminist Post Keynesian Economics; Social Processes

JEL classification: B52 B54 E12 Z13 Z18