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Arbeidscrisis en samenleving: een essay over de herpolitisering van arbeid

Author: Jürgen De Wispelaere orcid logo

  • Arbeidscrisis en samenleving: een essay over de herpolitisering van arbeid

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    Arbeidscrisis en samenleving: een essay over de herpolitisering van arbeid

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Abstract

In this essay, the author argues for a 'repolitisation of labour'. In his view, the complexity of the contemporary crisis of labour defeats a mere technical approach of the situation. The crisis of labour leads directly to a fundamental reorientation of basic political aims. The whole outset of modern society seems antiquated and is today becoming intensely questioned. In the first part, three dominant approaches in modern labour theory are discussed. The economical, sociological and post-industrial labour theories have one distinctive characteristic in common: they all focus on formal labour. Because the political stance is only represented in a secondary sense, the author argues that these approaches are not able to appreciate the encompassing dimensions of the crisis of labour. In the second part of the essay, the author infuses the discourse on labour with a distinctive political stance. He treats the crisis of labour in general as a reflection of the modern social conflict, which in turn gives way to two separate lines of thought. First, the relation between labour and the material provision of goods is discussed in reference to the complex processes of commodification and decommodification inherent in the modern welfare state and the labour market. Secondly, regarding the relation between labour and the full membership of society, the author argues that labour in itself is only a poor form of social participation. Labour cannot by any means represent the full account of being a member of a modern society, Therefore, the repolitisation of labour demands that the enforcing character of the institutionalised forms of formal labour are diminished, and that we leave more room for alternative, work-like social activities.

How to Cite:

De Wispelaere, J., (1997) “Arbeidscrisis en samenleving: een essay over de herpolitisering van arbeid”, Tijdschrift voor Sociologie 18(4), 441–476. doi: https://doi.org/10.21825/sociologos.86428

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Published on
20 Aug 1997
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