For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

References for Theme: Labour Process

  • Elliott, Christopher Shane; Long, Gary
  • Spencer, David A
    • "Marx and Marxist views on work and the capitalist labour process" (2014)
      (p.27) At one level, work is a social and communal activity. People forge important social connections via work and these have wider ramifications for the nature of society as a whole (Marx 1968: 80). Marx referred to the way that societies can be distinguished by the social organisation of work. How work is organised and how producers relate to one another has a direct bearing on the character of society. Marx’s attempt to define societies on the basis of the form or mode of work that predominates in those societies forms a central part ofhis materialist approach to the study of history. At another level, work affects...
    • "Marx and Marxist views on work and the capitalist labour process" (2014)
      (p.28) Marx’s writings on work incorporated the idea of ‘alienation’. Marx first introduced this idea in the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts, written in the early 1840s. It continued to figure in Marx’s later writings. Alienation, in essence, refers to the inability of people to exercise control over the work they do. While Marx argued that alienation had existed in slave and feudal societies, he felt it took on a particular form under capitalism. In capitalist society, the means of production are owned by the capitalist class, and the working class as the majority class must offer their labour services for hire...
    • "Marx and Marxist views on work and the capitalist labour process" (2014)
      (p.31) Marx explained how workers are exploited under capitalism. Workers appear to receive wages that represent full payment for the time they work in production when, in fact, their wages cover only the ‘necessary labour time’ that is required to meet their own needs. During ‘surplus’ or ‘unpaid’ labour time, workers produce ‘surplus value’ that enables the capitalists who hire them to make a profit (see Fine and Saad-Filho 2003). Marx stressed how exploitation is an endemic aspect of capitalism and how it could not be removed by any kind of reform of the labour market or work organisation. Exploitation, he...
    • "Marx and Marxist views on work and the capitalist labour process" (2014)
      (p.42) Marx regarded work as a vital human activity. Human beings are seen to realise their essential being in work. Unlike many rival conceptualisations of work, Marx did not consider that work is universally and inevitably irksome. Quite to the contrary, he maintained that humans are animated and uplifted by the work they do.
    • "Marx and Marxist views on work and the capitalist labour process" (2014)
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