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Debating Labour Process Theory: The Issue of Subjectivity and the Relevance of Poststructuralism

O'Doherty, Damian and Willmott, Hugh ORCID: 2001. Debating Labour Process Theory: The Issue of Subjectivity and the Relevance of Poststructuralism. Sociology 35 (2) , pp. 457-476. 10.1177/S0038038501000220

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This paper locates labour process theory in broader sociological debates concerned with the action-structure dualism before examining three broad programmes for research that have emerged in response to the question of subjectivity and agency. Whereas the `orthodox' school tends to re-assert the structuralist and economistic features of Marx, the `anti-realist' or deconstructionist position invites the abandonment of analysis that has traditionally been orientated by the polarities of `structure' and `agency'. We identify and develop a third, `hybrid position', one that is informed by poststructuralist insights but does not neglect or reject established traditions of `modern' sociology and labour process research. Critical examinations of two recent studies of `subjectivity and the labour process' - Mike Sosteric's (1996) case study of a night club and Douglas Ezzy's (1997) paper on `good work' - are undertaken to show how poststructuralist insights may offer an instructive way of understanding how subjectivity is co-implicated in the accomplishment and reproduction of capitalist employment relations.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: A General Works > AZ History of Scholarship The Humanities
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
Uncontrolled Keywords: Capitalism; labour process; poststructuralism; praxis; resistance; subjectivity
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 0038-0385
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 10:09

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