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LABOR PROCESS / VALORIZATION

40 years after Labor and Monopoly Capital, by Harry Braverman

Deadline for submission of articles: January 31, 2014
(Articles in Portuguese and English)

Guest Editor
Elcemir Paço Cunha
FederalUniversity of Juiz de Fora (UFJF)

“The distinctive capacity of human labor power is, therefore, not its ability to produce a surplus, but rather its intelligent and purposive character, which gives it infinite adaptability and which produces the social and cultural conditions for enlarging its own productivity, so that its surplus product may be continuously enlarged. From the point of view of the capitalist, this many-sided potentiality of humans in society is the basis upon which is built the enlargement of his capital” (BRAVERMAN, 1998, p. 38).

The purpose of this call is fostering discussions on the labor process in the capitalist mode of production, having in mind the 40th anniversary of the publication of Labor and Monopoly Capital: the degradation of work in the twentieth century, by Harry Braverman. As is generally known, this book resumed the discussions of Sociology of Work worldwide by evoking the links between the labor process and the monopoly phase of capital. From this copious influence, remained the so-called Labor Process Theory, which engenders discussions and events abroad (http://www.ilpc.org.uk/). The discussions from Braverman’s book, under the critical guidance of Micheal Burawoy, also, prompted considerations that, right or wrong, staked out the conditions for setting what came to be the Critical Management Studies (KNIGHTS and WILLMOTT, 1990).

Additionally, all movement in the different chains that put on hold the category work discussing its validity for a social criticism or its centrality to social life (Jürgen Habermas, Claus Offe, and Andre Gorz, and resonances in the recognition theory as it appears in Axel Honneth, in addition to authors having even postmodernist attitudes, such as Zygmunt Bauman), also served to greatly deviate research on the work problem (compare, notwithstanding, to different movements which do not claim such centrality under the terms of criticism, as György Lukács, Ernest Mandel, István Mészáros, etc.). Not by chance, the so-called Organizational Studies, which partly reflect on the issues of social and economic sciences, manifest the tendency to pass off the problems of the labor process as valorization process of capital by preferring other themes also important that, however, keep away from the key determinations of this sociability observed, whose guiding core is still (against the most varied prognoses) the logic of value.

Therefore, celebrating this work by Braverman means opening the possibility for discussions which bring up the issues directly associated to work and labor process in the capitalist production, addressing, by way of example, these possible points:

· Issues concerning the centrality of work;
· New expressions of work degradation;
· Work, work division, and command technique (administration) at work;
· Work, State, and social policies;
· Work and new expressions of the “social question”;
· Work and feminism;
· Others.

We would like to invite authors to prepare theoretical and empirical papers.
Cadernos EBAPE.BR is an online journal on Administration published in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, by EBAPE/FGV (BrazilianSchool of Public and Business Administration of Getulio Vargas Foundation) and it is an open access journal – http://bibliotecadigital.fgv.br/ojs/index.php/cadernosebape/index. All approved papers will be published in the original language. The Cadernos EBAPE.BR is classified by the CAPES Qualis system as B1.

The authors should follow the guidelines for submitting articles to Cadernos EBAPE.BR in:  http://bibliotecadigital.fgv.br/ojs/index.php/cadernosebape/pages/view/normas.

The articles should be submitted through the link: http://bibliotecadigital.fgv.br/ojs/index.php/cadernosebape/login  

You must register as an author, if you have not done it previously.

The deadline for article submission is January 31, 2014.

Note: please indicate in the field “AUTHOR’S COMMENTS” (bottom of the page – 1st stage of the procedure) that your article is for the special issue: “Labor process/appreciation 40 years after Labor and Monopoly Capital, by Harry Braverman”.

Specific questions about the special issue should be directly addressed to the guest editor: Elcemir Paço Cunha (elcemirpacocunha@gmail.com).

Guest Editor
Elcemir Paço Cunha
Associate Professor of the Post-Graduation Programs in Social Service and Law at the Universidade Federal de Juiz de For a

 

**END**

 ‘Cheerful Sin’ – a song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

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The New Left Book Club: https://rikowski.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/the-new-left-book-club-call-for-papers/  

Model T Ford

FORDISM AND POST-FORDISM CONFERENCE

International Conference

Fordism and Post-Fordism: Cycles and transformations in contemporary society

New University of Lisbon, Faculty of Social and Human Sciences

10th and 11th February 2012

 

The development of capitalism throughout the 20th century has accelerated the pace of transformations in the field of production, with a far-reaching impact upon several domains of social activity: from school to work, from family ties to state institutions. The existence of economical cycles tied to the development of technical, political and social paradigms has therefore captured the attention of many researchers, who have categorized historical periods according to a series of axes: the predominant forms of relation between labour and capital, the industrial sectors that push economic growth and the technological innovations with the greatest impact on the productive process.

In this context, the term “Fordism” has been put forward to frame the historical period emerging in the first half of the 20th century and characterized by the massification of both production and consumption, highly developed processes of mechanization, rationalization and standardisation embodied in assembly lines, the central role of the automobile and petrochemical industries, sophisticated techniques of regulation of work conditions and growing state intervention in economic activities.

The term “Post-Fordism”, in turn, has been used to define the ensemble of transformations occurring, since the 1970’s, in spheres such as the organization of labour, the nature of state intervention and the 

technological paradigms applied to production. Different notions have emerged, aiming to characterize such transformations. “Neofordism”, “lean production”, “Toyotism”, “Late capitalism”, “Biopolitics” or, 

more recently, “Informationalism” and “finance-dominated accumulation regime” are some of them. The term “Post-Fordism”, however, has been widely accepted in specialized literature because it leaves room for the plasticity of a multidimensional process in permanent evolution.

This conference aims at questioning the logics and dynamics of both paradigms, the historical contexts of their emergence, the shifts they represented and the conflicts they shaped. It is open to researchers looking to present papers dealing with at least one of the following subjects:

–          Technology, Science and organization of labour;

–          State, regulation and economic planning;

–          Labour struggles, social conflict and resistance;

–          Culture, leisure and consumption.

 

These papers (Max. 10 pages/20 minutes) may address specific subjects (such as the introduction of Taylorism in a factory or industrial branch, the settings of a collective bargain, a plan to stabilize wages and prices or a strike, for example) or wider problems (like the characterization and interpretation of the paradigms themselves). Papers that address more than one of these subjects or the transition between both paradigms will be particularly welcomed.

Paper proposals must be sent to coloquio.fordismo@gmail.com and should include: title, abstract (Max. 300 words), study field, institutional affiliation and e-mail address.

The deadline for proposals is October 31st 2011.

The authors of the selected proposals shall not be notified until November 15th 2011, and invited to send the texts of their papers until December 31st 2011. The final program of the conference shall be made public in January 2012.

The conference’s official languages will be Portuguese and English.

Raquel Varela, Postdoctoral Research Fellow FCT, Instituto de História Contemporânea, Universidade Nova de Lisboa Study Group on Labor and Social Conflicts, Av. de Berna, nº 26 -C, 1069-061 Lisboa, + 351 21 794 09 21, Portugal. Honorary Fellow IISG (Amsterdam): http://www.iisg.nl/staff/rva.php and raquel_cardeira_varela@yahoo.co.uk

 

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It's CrisisTime!

It's CrisisTime!

CRISIS WHAT CRISIS: FORWARD TO THE PAST?

 

 Critical Labour Studies: 6th Symposium 2009

Venue: The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

Saturday 21st/Sunday 22nd November 2009

Statement of Intent
It is clear to researchers and activists, both in the trade union movement and universities, that global capitalism is increasingly shaping the worlds of work and employment. The imposition of this neo-liberal orthodoxy has many profound implications, not least that states seek to both de-legitimise workers’ opposition and marginalise their organisations. However, just as capitalism has embraced neo-liberal strategies, there has emerged a new politics of resistance that is varied and diverse, embracing: trade union and socialist organisations, green and ecological protest movements, anti-war activists, feminists, human rights campaigners and NGOs. It is against this background that the Critical Labour Studies (CLS) symposium has aimed to bring together researchers and activists to discuss key features of work and employment from a radical and labour-focused perspective. We recognise that while left academic researchers participate in the usual round of mainstream conferences, the scope for focused radical debate around these themes is actually quite limited. Through CLS we have developed an open working group and discussion forum that engages with many of the challenges facing researchers and trade unionists within the current environment of work and employment. By ‘labour’, we anticipate, in the traditions of radical researchers over the ages, a broad understanding of myriad social, economic and political agendas. To date, themes have included: race, identity and organising migrant workers, global unionism and organising internationally, the new politics of production, privatisation, outsourcing and offshoring. The list of themes and questions that concern us continues to develop over time, and the intention will be to reflect this evolving agenda at this year’s symposium. An ancillary objective is to engage in genuinely critical debate, rescuing this term from its co-option by mainstream agendas.

The Format of the Symposium
Building on the successes of the past five years, the forthcoming symposium will be structured as a series of plenary sessions. Each will be organised around a particular theme with speakers and discussants, followed by a broad discussion. It has been an important principle of CLS that the conference is not based on the convention of academic conferences with specific papers being presented in separate streams. Rather our intention has been to deepen discussion and debate, and to bring together researchers and labour/union movement activists (where possible) in joint sessions. All sessions are genuinely open and inclusive and involve a broad range of participants, from established academics to early-career researchers, and from established trade union officials to shop-floor representatives and grass-roots activists. The distinctive organising principles of CLS are, therefore, to assist unions and workers in dealing with the challenges faced in the neo-liberal world of work and employment. Ultimately, discussion of strategies and tactics are related to the broader aim of creating a socialist society.

*CLS PROGRAMME 2009*

VENUE: School of Oriental and African Studies
– Khalili Lecture Theater (KLT), University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London, WC1H 0XG

DATES: 21st and 22nd of November

Organisers: Demet Dinler, Jane Holgate and Miguel Martinez Lucio

Saturday 21st

8.30-9.30 Registration (with coffee and tea)

9.30 Welcome and introduction

First Session – Work Intensification and Lean Production

10.00 – 11.00

‘Is that Banana Active?’ Lean and Mean in the Civil Service
Speaker from PCS, Bob Carter (de Montfort University), Andy Danford (University of West of England), Debra Howcroft (University of Manchester), Helen Richardson (University of Salford), Andrew Smith (University of East of London), Phil Taylor (University of Strathclyde)

11.00-11.30 tea and coffee

11.30-12.30

Challenging lean production in the car industry. The politics of developing critical research agenda in and beyond the shop floor.
Steve Craig (UCATT), Ken Murphy (UNITE and Paul Stewart (Strathclyde University)

12.30-1.00

Prospects for a Critical Labour Psychology
Thomas Ryan (Northumbria University)

1.00-2.00 Lunch

Second Session – Labour Markets, Migration and Labour

2.00-2.45

The growth of living wage campaigns across university campuses

Clare Soloman – SOAS coordinator of the campaign; Jose Stalin Bermudez – shop steward; Demet Dinler – SOAS

2.45-3.30

Adapt or Decline – A Trade Union Future for Black Workers

Jane Holgate (Working Lives Institute) and Wilf Sullivan (TUC)

3.30- 4.00 tea and coffee

4.00-4.30

Racism, Nationalism and the Labour Movement in Northern Ireland: Racist bigots; they haven’t gone away you know

Independent Workers Union (IWU) address to CLS – Tommy McKearney IWU

4.30-5.30 Towards a Critical approach to Migration and Labour

Migration research: Why theory and methodology matters
Jutta Moehrke, Stoke-on-Trent Citizens Advice Bureau
Steve French, Centre for Industrial Relations, Keele University

Migration and the Politics of Research: Comparisons and Stereotypes
Heather Connolly and Miguel Martinez Lucio (University of Manchester)

Social 7pm onwards Rugby Tavern, 9 Great James St London, WC1N 3ES

Sunday 22nd

Third Session: Politics and Unions: Class and Organising

9.30 tea and coffee

10.00-11.00

Organising and Class
Mel Simms (Warwick) and Martin Smith GMB

11.00-12.00

Towards a Typology of Alternative Trade Union Futures in Western Europe
Martin Upchurch (Middlesex University), Andy Mathers (University of the West of England), Graham Taylor (University of the West of England)

12.-12.30

Time for a different model of public sector trade unionism
Roger Kline (UCU)
12.30-1.30 – Lunch

1.30 -2.30 – Open Discussion: CLS and Future Developments
_______

Join the Critical Labour Studies Email List

If you would like to be added to the CLS email list, please go to:
https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cgi-bin/webadmin?A0=CRITICAL-LABOUR-STUDIES

Check out our website: http://criticallabourstudies.org.uk/site/

Registration and Contact for the Conference

• The sessions will be held at the Khalili Lecture Theater (KLT) and registration is at the entrance of this lecture theatre in SOAS.
• The registration fee for the weekend is £60.00 (unwaged or low waged £40). This will include food, tea/coffee and Saturday evening’s entertainment.
• For further information contact Demet Dinler dd1@soas.ac.uk, Jane Holgatej.holgate@londonmet.ac.uk, or Miguel Martinez Lucio Miguel.MartinezLucio@manchester.ac.uk.
• TO REGISTER AND SEND YOUR CHEQUE CONTACT Jane Holgatej.holgate@londonmet.ac.uk – Dr Jane Holgate, Working Lives Research Institute, London Metropolitan University, 31 Jewry Street, London EC3N 2EY – Make cheques payable to the ‘LONDON ORGANISERS NETWORK’.
• It is recommended that you register and confirm attendance in advance of the conference due to the restrictions on numbers.

This event is supported by Historical Materialism, Capital and Class, and the BUIRA Marxist Study Group

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Work, work, work

Work, work, work

WORK ORGANISATION, LABOUR AND GLOBALISATION

 

 Volume 3 No 1 of ‘Work Organisation, Labour and Globalisation’ is now available and is entitled ‘Working at the Interface: call-centre labour in a global economy’

Call centres illustrate the consequences of globalisation for labour perhaps more clearly than any other form of employment. Call-centre workers sit at the interface between the global and the local, having to transcend the limitations of local time zones, cultures and speech patterns. They are also at the interface between companies and their customers, having to absorb the impact of anger, incomprehension, confusion and racist abuse whilst still meeting exacting productivity targets and staying calm and friendly.

Finally, they take the brunt of the conflict at the contested interface between production and consumption, having to deal in their personal lives with the conflicts between the demands of paid and unpaid work. Drawing, amongst others, on organisational theory, sociology, communications studies, industrial relations, economic geography, gender theory and political economy, this important collection brings together survey evidence from around the world with case studies and vivid first-hand accounts of life in call centres from Asia, North and South America, Western and Eastern Europe. In the process it reveals many similarities but also demonstrates that national industrial relations traditions and workers’ ability to negotiate can make a significant difference to the quality of working life in call  centres.

Contributors include:
Ursula Holtgrewe, Jessica Longen, Hannelore Mottweiler, Annika Schönauer, Premilla D’Cruz, Ernesto Noronha, Simone Wolff, Claudia Mazzei Nogueira, Enda Brophy, Norene Pupo, Andrea Noack, Pia Bramming, Ole H. Sørensen, Peter Hasle, Päivi Korvajärvi, Vassil Kirov, Kapka Mircheva, and Ursula Huws.
____________

Available in print and online
Read free taster article online at: http://analytica.metapress.com/content/c72128810j7357u3/fulltext.pdf

Order in book form from: http://www.merlinpress.co.uk/acatalog/WORKING_AT_THE_INTERFACE.html

For further information go to http://www.analyticapublications.co.uk

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