Areil Salleh

Griffith University

Ariel Salleh is an Australian sociologist who writes on social ecology and ecofeminism. In contrast to idealist ecofeminisms coming from philosophy and cultural studies, Salleh’s analysis is close to that of fellow sociologists Maria Mies in Germany and Mary Mellor in the United Kingdom. Reproductive labour and use value are central themes here. Her own “embodied materialism” addresses resistance to globalisation through the movement of movements, introducing the term “meta-industrial labour” to integrate indigenous, peasant, women’s, and worker politics under the banner of ecology.

Salleh exemplifies the marxist argument that hands-on praxis is essential to grounded political theory. She was a convener of the Movement Against Uranium Mining in Sydney, 1976, and helped found The Greens in 1985. She worked on the 1992 Earth Summit with Women’s Environment & Development Organization; on local catchment struggles in the mid 90s; and from 2001-04 acted as ecologist/critic on the Australian federal government’s Gene Technology Ethics Committee.

  • Ecofeminism as Politics

    Nature, Marx and the Postmodern

    By Areil Salleh     December 2001

    This book explores the philosophical and political challenge of ecofeminism. It shows how the ecology movement has been held back by conceptual confusion over the implications of gender difference, while much that passes in the name of feminism is actually an obstacle to ecological change and global democracy. The author argues that ecofeminism reaches beyond contemporary social movements, being a political synthesis of four revolutions in one: ecology is feminism is socialism is post-colonial struggle. Salleh’s ecofeminism integrates discourses on science, the body, culture, nature, political economy.