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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In short, we can distinguish three types of immaterial labor that drive the service sector at the top of the informational economy. In more developed systemic theories, organization is conceived as an ensemble of factors, both material and immaterial, both individual and collective, that can permit a given group to reach objectives. Behind the label of the independent “self-employed” worker, what we actually find is an intellectual proletarian, but who is recognized as such only by the employers who exploit him or her.

It would be interesting and useful to consider here how these processes disrupt Habermas’s division between instrumental and communicative action, just as in another sense they do Arendt’s distinctions among labor, work, and action.

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. The Restructured Worker Lazzarato starts with post-fordism, where workers have greater agency and responsibility, who is an “interface The concept of immaterial labor refers to two different aspects of labor.

Political theories Labor studies Labour movement Autonomism Marxian economics. Immaterial labor continually creates and modifies the forms and conditions of communication, which in turn acts as the interface that negotiates the relationship between production and consumption.

This transformation of the world of work appears even more evident when one studies the social cycle of production: It always leans more toward commercialization and financing than toward production.


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.

These values presuppose the modes of being, modes of existing, and forms of life that support them. The role of immaterial labor is to promote continual innovation in the forms and conditions of communication and thus in work and consumption. As I noted earlier, immaterial labor produces first and foremost a social relation – it produces not only commodities, but also the capital relation.

I have defined working-class labor as an abstract activity that nowadays involves the application of subjectivity. To recognize the new characteristics of the production cycle of immaterial labor, we should compare it with the production of large-scale industry and services.

Immaterial labor – Wikipedia

The success of this organizational process requires instruments of regulation, either voluntary or automatic. The model of author, reproduction, and reception requires a double transformation: In this context of ad-hoc creative cooperation, the unit of analysis is not the factory but the project.

The split between conception and execution, between labor and creativity, between author and audience, is simultaneously transcended within the immaterrial process” and reimposed as political command within the “process of valorization. Even when direct contact with computers is not involved the manipulation of symbols and information along the model of computer operation is extremely widespread.

Immaterial Labor

Lazzarato plots a transition in this immaterial labor towards “mass intellectuality” and its widespread growth starting in the s, arguing that we should abandon dichotomies between “mental and manual labor” or “material labor and immaterial labor” to see how the “labor process” incorporates both.

From these considerations there emerge two principal consequences. University of Minnesota Press. Immaterial Labour, Precariousness and Cultural Work”. Fashion here functions like a barrier that incessantly comes up because it is incessantly battered down.

Immaterial Labor – AcaWiki

I should emphasize, however, that the subsumption of this process under capitalist logic and the transformation of its products into commodities does not abolish the specificity of aesthetic production, that is to say, the creative relationship between author and audience. On che other hand, as regards the activity that produces the “cultural content” of the commodity, immaterial labor involves a series of activities that are not normally recognized as “work” – in other words, the kinds of activities involved in defining and fixing cultural and artistic standards, fashions, tastes, consumer norms, and, more strategically, public opinion.


The concept of immaterial labor presupposes and results in an enlargement of productive cooperation that even includes the production and reproduction of communication and hence of its most important contents: The subjugation of this form of cooperation and the “use value” of these skills to capitalist logic does not take away the autonomy of the constitution and meaning of immate – rial labor.

Terranova Free Labor: Creation and intellectual labor These brief considerations permit us to begin questioning the model of creation and diffusion specific to intellectual labor and to get beyond the concept of creativity as an expression of “individuality” or as the patrimony of the “superior” classes.

Autonomist feminists have also taken issue with the use of the word “immaterial” to describe affective and care workwhich necessarily maintains lxbor affective and embodied component. In a sense, life becomes inseparable from work.

Lazzzrato analysis of the different “stages” of the cycle of immaterial labor permits me to advance the hypothesis that what is “productive” is the whole of the social relation here represented by the author-work-audience relationship according to modalities that directly bring into play the “meaning.

How does the production of subjectivity take place within this process?

As Robert Reich says, the U.