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The New ‘Hidden Abode’: Reflections on Value and Labour in the New Economy

Boehm, Steffen and Land, Christopher (2012) 'The New ‘Hidden Abode’: Reflections on Value and Labour in the New Economy.' The Sociological Review, 60 (2). pp. 217-240. ISSN 0038-0261

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Abstract

In a pivotal section of Capital volume 1, Marx (1976: 279) notes that, in order to understand the capitalist production of value, we must descend into the ‘hidden abode of production’: the site of the labour process conducted within an employment relationship. In this paper we argue that by remaining wedded to an analysis of labour that is confined to the employment relationship, Labour Process Theory (LPT) has missed a fundamental shift in the location of value production in contemporary capitalism. We examine this shift through the work of Autonomist Marxists like Hardt and Negri, Lazaratto, and Arvidsson, who offer theoretical leverage to prize open a new ‘hidden abode’ outside employment, for example in the ‘production of organization’ and in consumption. Although they can open up this new ‘hidden abode’ without LPT’s fine-grained analysis of control/resistance, indeterminacy and structured antagonism, these theorists risk succumbing to empirically naive claims about the ‘new economy’. Through developing an expanded conception of a ‘new hidden abode’ of production, the paper demarcates an analytical space in which both LPT and Autonomist Marxism can expand and develop their understanding of labour and value production in today’s economy.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Marx; value; labour process theory; work; marketing; branding; immaterial labour; Autonomist Marxism
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School > Centre for Work, Organisation and Society
Depositing User: Christopher Land
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2012 09:40
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2015 15:52
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/3786

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