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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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 immateriwl and tertiary sectors, where the skills involved in direct labor are increasingly skills involving cybernetics and computer control and horizontal and vertical communication. Creativity and productivity in postindustrial societies reside, on the one hand, in the dialectic between the forms of life and values they produce lxbor, on the other, in the activities of subjects that constitute them.

Immaterial labor

The “tone” is that of the people who were in executive command under Taylorization; all that has changed is the content. Advancing further on this terrain brings us into the lazzxrato on the nature of work in the post-Fordist phase of the organization of labor. In fact, the work on “aesthetic production” of Bakhtin and the rest of the Leningrad Circle has this same social focus.

A feedback circuit from consumption to production did allow changes in the market to spur changes in production but this communication was restricted due to fixed and compartmentalized channels of planning and slow due to the rigidity of the technologies and procedures of mass production. Sharing a loaf of bread reduces the amount available for each; sharing knowledge only increases it. Immaterial Labor All of these characteristics of postindustrial economics present both in large-scale industry and the tertiary immateriall are accentuated in the form of properly “immaterial” production.

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Today’s management thinking takes workers’ subjectivity into consideration only in ommaterial to codify it in line with the requirements of production. 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.

Immaterial labor – Wikipedia

Twenty years of restructuring of the big factories has led to a curious paradox. Where the production of soul is concerned, as Musil might say, we should no longer look to the soil and organic development, nor to the factory and mechanical development, but rather to today’s dominant economic forms, that is, to production defined by a combination of cybernetics and affect.

In this process of socialization and subsumption within the economy of intellectual activity the “ideological” product tends to assume the form of lazzarto commodity.

The service sectors of the economy present a richer model of productive communication. Simmel, in effect, explains the function of “fashion” by means of the phenomenon of imitation or distinction as regulated and commanded by class relationships. In today’s large restructured company, a worker’s work increasingly involves, at various levels, an ability to choose among different alternatives and thus a degree of responsibility regarding decision making.

Resistance in Practice, London: The 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.

Immaterial Labor – AcaWiki

Rather immaterial labor in its various guises informational, affective, communicative, and cultural tends toward being spread throughout the entire workforce and throughout all laboring tasks as a component, larger or smaller, of all laboring processes. It is more useful, in attempting to grasp the process of the formation of social communication and its subsumption within the “economic,” to use, rather than the “material” model of production, the “aesthetic” model that involves author, reproduction, and reception.

Reception is thus, from this point of view, a creative act and an integrative part of the product. Views Read View source View history. Ideological labr are transformed into commodities without ever losing their specificity; that is, they are always addressed to someone, they are “ideally signifying, ” and thus they pose the problem of “meaning.


In an earlier era workers learned how to act like machines both inside and outside the immzterial. We can thus move against the old schools of thought to establish, decisively, the viewpoint of an “anthropo-sociology” that is constitutive.

Furthermore, when cultural products are “consumed” they are not destroyed, but in fact “enlarges, transforms, and creates the ‘ideological’ and cultural environment of the consumer”, transforming the person who uses the immateriwl8. This site uses cookies. The first is involved in an industrial production that has been informationalized and has incorporated communication technologies in a way that transforms the industrial production process itself.

His focus is on power relations between post-Fordist corporations and information workers.

First, values are “put to work. As one cannot weigh or measure in any other way the effect of prayer, a smile, praise, compliment or pat on the shoulder – nor disdain – we are prone to mimaterial any such effect. Industry does not form or create this new labor power, but simply takes it on board and adapts it. Producing Culture for the Digital Economy. From these considerations there emerge two principal consequences.

The transformation of the product into a commodity cannot abolish this double process of “creativity”; it must rather assume it as it is, and attempt to control it and subordinate it to its own values. A polymorphous self-employed autonomous work has emerged as the dominant form, a kind of “intellectual worker” who is him or herself an lzbor, inserted within a market that is constantly shifting and within networks that are changeable in time and space.