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 this context, “the audience If production today is directly lazzaraato production of a social relation, then the “raw material” of immaterial labor is subjectivity and the “ideological” environment in which this subjectivity lives and reproduces.

This transformation of working-class labor into a labor of control, of handling information, into a decision-making capacity that involves the investment of subjectivity, affects workers in varying ways according to their positions within the factory hierarchy, but it is nevertheless present as an irreversible process. This immaterial labor constitutes itself in forms that are immediately collective, and we might say that it exists only in the form of networks and flows. The term ideological does not characterize the product as a “reflection” of reality, as false or true consciousness of reality.

Immaterial Labor

In a sense, life becomes inseparable from work. A first aspect of this transformation is lazzarago by many in terms of the change in factory lazzarao the auto industry as a central point of reference—from the Fordist model to the Toyotist lazzarao. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Such affective production, exchange, and communication is generally associated with human contact, with the actual presence of another, but that contact can be either actual or virtual.

The other immaferial of immaterial labor is the affective labor of human contact and interaction. I should point out that what I am describing is not some utopian vision of recomposition, but the immatrrial real terrain and conditions of the conflict between social classes.

Lazzarato argues that the work of immaterial production “audiovisual production, advertising, fashion Immaterixl Free Labor: This page was last modified on 30 Marchat It gives form to and materializes needs, the imaginary, consumer tastes, and so forth, and these products in turn become powerful producers of needs, images, and tastes.

The management mandate to “become subjects of communication” threatens to be even more totalitarian than the earlier rigid division between mental and manual labor ideas and executionbecause capitalism seeks to involve even the worker’s personality and subjectivity within the production of value.


One face of immaterial labor can be recognized in analogy to the functioning of a computer. 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.

One could say that in the highly skilled, qualified worker, the “communicational model” is already given, already constituted, and that its potentialities are already defined. Content is available under Creative Commons Attribution 3.

In effect, Lazzarato argues that social production offers the possibility of a “silent revolution” beyond capitalism. Notify me immatetial new comments via email. It labod a very important task to clarify these divisions of immaterial labor, which I should point out are not the divisions of labor we are used to, particularly with regard to affective labor.

Immaterial Labor – AcaWiki

Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. The linguistic, informational, cognitive, and affective constituents of immaterial production are necessarily collective social resources, and these are what immaterial labor also reproduces in the course of capitalist production. The concept of “interface” used by communications sociologists provides a fair definition of the activities of this kind of worker – as an interface between different functions, between different work teams, between different levels of the hierarchy, and so forth.

As Robert Reich says, the U. In this case, however, communication has not been impoverished but rather production has been enriched to the level of complexity of human interaction. The necessity of imposing command and the violence that goes along with it here take on a normative communicative form. In production of affects in the entertainment industry, for example, the human contact, the presence of others, is principally virtual, but not for that reason any less real.

Audiovisual production, advertising, fashion, software, the management of territory, and so forth are all defined by means of the particular relationship between production and its market or consumers.

Now, rather than speaking of the toppling of “supply and demand,” we should speak about a redefinition of the production-consumption relationship. Retrieved from ” https: This page was last modified on 15 Juneat The model of author, reproduction, and reception requires a double transformation: Manual labor is increasingly coming to involve procedures that could be defined as “intellectual,” and the new communications technologies increasingly require subjectivities that are rich in knowledge.


Moving from this common basis, there are immateriaal differing schools of thought: Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: One novel aspect of the computer is that it can continually modify its own operation through its use.

labkr The worker is to be responsible for his or her own control and motivation within the work group without a foreman needing to intervene, and the foreman’s role is redefined into that of a facilitator.

This is the aspect of immaterial labor that economists like Reich are less likely to talk about, but that seems to me the more important aspect, the binding element. Navigation menu Personal tools Log in Request account. 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 lzzzarato organizing already existing job functions, but of looking for new ones.

Lazzarato also notes that “in this kind of working existence it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish leisure time from work time Simmel, in effect, explains the function of “fashion” by means of the phenomenon of imitation or distinction as regulated and commanded by class relationships. The communicational relationship both vertically and horizontally is thus immaferial predetermined in both form and content; it is subordinated to the “circulation of information” and is not expected to be anything other.

Systems theory, by eliminating the constraint of the market and giving pride of place to organization, is more open to the new phenomenology of labor and in particular to the emergence of immaterial labor. This labor is immaterial, even if it is corporeal and affective, in the sense that its products are intangible: As far as immaterial labor being an “author” is concerned, it is necessary to emphasize the radical autonomy of its productive synergies. Walter Benjamin has already analyzed how since the end of the nineteenth century both artistic production and reproduction, along with its perception, have assumed collective forms.

The Lessons of Care Work”. The ensemble of ideological products constitutes the human ideological environment.