Marx's Concept of Labor

Sayers, Sean (2007) Marx's Concept of Labor. Science & Society, 71 (4). pp. 431-454. ISSN 0036-8237. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Marx conceives of labour as form giving activity. This is criticised for presupposing a `productivist' model of labour which regards work that creates a material product – craft or industrial work – as the paradigm for all work (Habermas, Benton, Arendt). Many traditional kinds of work do not seem to fit this picture, and new `immaterial' forms of labour (computer work, service work, etc.) have developed in postindustrial society which, it is argued, necessitate a fundamental revision of Marx's approach (Hardt and Negri). In this paper I argue that Marx's theory must be understood in the context of Hegel's philosophy. In that light, I show that the view that Marx has a `productivist' model of labour is mistaken. I criticise the concept of `immaterial' labour, and argue that Marx's ideas continue to provide an illuminating framework for understanding work in modern society.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: Marx, Hegel, work, immaterial labour, Hardt and Negri, Arendt, Habermas, postindustrial society
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HX Socialism. Communism. Anarchism
J Political Science > JC Political theory
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages
Depositing User: Sean Sayers
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2008 09:57
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2010 14:09
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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