Jan 14 2022

primarily by Maurizio Lazzarato, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri – succeed, to a certain extent .. Lazzarato, M. () ‘Immaterial Labor’, trans. P. Colilli and. Much of the work performed today is immaterial labor and it involves new power relations in which NOTE: Lazzarato is not describing digital. At the simplest level of definition, Lazzarato claims that immaterial labor is “labor that produces the informational and cultural content of the.

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Issue 17, Fall Health services, for example, rely centrally on caring and affective labor, and the entertainment industry and the various culture industries are likewise focussed on the creation and manipulation of affects.

In an earlier era workers learned oazzarato to act like machines both inside and outside the factory.

General Intellect and Immaterial Labour’, in T. Much of the work performed today is immaterial labor and it involves new power relations in which workers, who are free, use their mental skills and personalities to produce information commodities.

On the contrary, it opens up antagonisms and contradictions that, to use once again a Marxist formula, demand at inmaterial a “new form of exposition. If the product is defined through the intervention of the consumer, and is therefore lzzzarato permanent evolution, it becomes always more difficult to define the norms of the production of services and establish an “objective” measure of productivity.

The activities of this kind of immaterial labor force us to question the classic definitions of work and workforce, because they combine the results of various different types of work lwzzarato Large-Scale Industry and Services Lazzarato describes how older forms of labor are transformed in post-Fordism: In this context of ad-hoc creative cooperation, the unit of analysis is not the factory but the project.

Immaterial Labor – P2P Foundation

On the one hand, as regards the “informational content” of the commodity, it refers directly to the changes taking place in workers’ labor processes in big companies in the industrial and tertiary sectors, where the skills involved in direct labor are increasingly skills involving cybernetics and computer control and horizontal and vertical communication.

If Fordism integrated consumption into the cycle of the reproduction of capital, post-Fordism integrates communication into it. In the young worker, however, the “precarious” worker, and the unemployed youth, we are dealing with a pure virtuality, a capacity that is as yet undetermined but that already shares all the characteristics of postindustrial productive subjectivity.


His focus is on power relations between post-Fordist corporations and information workers. Sociology and labor economics, being systemic disciplines, are both incapable of detaching themselves from this position.

Immaterial labor

As one Harvard man once said: Twenty years of restructuring of the big factories has led to a curious paradox. You are commenting using your WordPress.

An initial synthesis of these results – framed in terms of an attempt to define the technical and subjective-political composition of the working class can be expressed in the concept of immaterial labor, which is defined as the labor that produces the informational and cultural concent of the commodity. Because the capitalist entrepreneur does not produce the forms and contents of immaterial labor, he or she does not even produce innovation. Post-colonial feminist writer Lisa Nakamura, and others have described immaterial labor in the performance of online identity, and racial identity and identity performance, or “avatarization of the self”.

This model reveals aspects that traditional economic categories tend to obscure and that, as I will show, constitute the “specific differences” of the post-Taylorist means of production. Her historical research lends itself to this broader discussion, “They were cited as evidence that digital work—the work of the hand and its digits—could be painlessly transferred from the indigenous cultural context into the world of technological commercial innovation, benefiting both in the process.

Services If from industry proper we move on to the “services” sector large banking services, insurance, and so forththe characteristics of the process I have described appear even more clearly. We arrive at a point where a collective learning process becomes the heart of productivity, because it is no longer a matter of finding different ways of composing or organizing already existing job functions, but of looking for new ones.

Creativity and productivity in postindustrial societies reside, on the one hand, in the dialectic between the forms of life and values they produce and, on the other, in the activities of subjects that constitute them.

Manufacturing is regarded as a service and the material labor of the production of durable goods mixes with and tends toward immaterial labor. I want to demonstrate in particular how the process of valorization tends to be identified with the process of the production of social communication and how the two stages valorization and communication immediately have a social and territorial dimension.

In service industries, the “back-office” tasks the classic work of services have diminished and the tasks of the “front office” the relationship with clients have grown.


A first aspect of this transformation is recognized by many in terms of the change in factory labor—using the auto industry as a central point of reference—from the Fordist model to the Toyotist model. Up to this point I have been analyzing and labog the concept of immaterial labor from a point of view that could be defined, so to speak, as “microeconomic.

Immaterial Labor – AcaWiki

All of these characteristics of postindustrial economics present both in large-scale industry and the tertiary sector are accentuated in the form of properly “immaterial” production. In the first place, as the addressee of the ideological product, the public is a constitutive element of the production process. The fact that immaterial labor produces subjectivity and economic value at the same time demonstrates how capitalist production has invaded our lives and has broken down all the oppositions among economy, power, and knowledge.

The Cycle of Immaterial Prodution Lazzarato argues that role of communication is the key distinguishing feature between Fordism and post-Fordism. Sharing a loaf of bread reduces the amount available for each; alzzarato knowledge only increases it.

Immaterial Labor

How does the production of subjectivity take place within this process? In this context, “the audience As Robert Reich says, the U. Here begins to emerge a fundamental division of labor within the realm of immaterial processes. Consent agreements or contracts between social media and user-generated content platforms and their users have been proposed as a way of minimizing immaterial labor by allowing users to have more control over the use and circulation of the content, dataand metadata they produce.

Lazzarato argues that immaterial labor occurs when companies co-opt a wider capacity for social labor “takes it on board and adapts it”8. The aesthetic model But how is the production process of social communication formed? The new phenomenologies of labor, the new dimensions of organization, communication, the potentiality of spontaneous synergies, the autonomy of the subjects involved, and the independence of the networks were neither foreseen nor foreseeable by a general theory that believed that material labor and an industrial economy were indispensable.

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