Download e-book for iPad: Critical Social Theory and the End of Work (Rethinking by Edward Granter

By Edward Granter

"Critical Social idea and the tip of labor" examines the improvement and sociological value of the concept that paintings is being eradicated by utilizing complicated construction expertise. Granter's engagement with the paintings of key American and ecu figures equivalent to Marx, Marcuse, Gorz, Habermas and Negri, focuses his arguments for the abolition of labour as a reaction to the present socio-historical adjustments affecting our paintings ethic and shopper ideology. through combining heritage of rules with social idea, this booklet considers how the 'end of labor' thesis has built and has been significantly carried out within the research of recent society. His paintings will entice students of sociology, historical past of rules, social and cultural concept in addition to these operating within the fields of severe administration and sociology of labor.

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Thus for St Simon, another social theorist for whom work was of central importance, a fully rational society was one in which everybody would work; ‘The production of useful things is the only reasonable and positive aim that political societies can set themselves’ (Applebaum 1992: 431). Locke, with the ranks of the poor in his sights, perceived those who did not work as somehow defective in terms of their ability to behave rationally. The idle poor were prone to drinking, lechery and criminality; the response of the state should be to re-educate them, to change their very character.

We might suggest that the obligation to work has been internalised, and like capitalism, needs the support of religion no longer. But we are perhaps rather cavalier in discussing contemporary attitudes to work in this manner, since we have not yet given an account of other historical processes and transitions that have been instrumental in shaping it. Although we have skirted around the debate over whether Protestantism was a causal or merely contingent factor in the rise of capitalist modernity, it is tempting to see Calvinist doctrine particularly as at least having something of a legitimating purpose.

In contrast, Ida Harper-Simpson argues that ‘The factory model spread to other industries and had become the dominant mode of production by 1880’ (Simpson 1999: 48). Burnett’s findings support the former view; he points out that industrialisation and urbanisation only affected around 25–30% of the English population in 1831 (Burnett 1974: 256). For our purposes, the argument is somewhat irrelevant, and it seems appropriate to allow generalisations about the dominance of industry. Why? Because whether or not industrial work was dominant in the mid nineteenth century, it became dominant in the twentieth.

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