The intellectual division of labour: a stake in the current crisis?
Freyssenet M., The intellectual division of labour: a stake in the current crisis?, Key note, 30th International Labour Process Conference, Stockholm, 27-29 March 2012. Digital publications: freyssenet.com, 2012, 284 Ko, ISSN 1776-0941; ilpc2012stockholm.
Freyssenet M., Slides presentation of: The intellectual division of labour: a stake in the current crisis?, Key note, 30th International Labour Process Conference, Stockholm, 27-29 March 2012. Digital publications: freyssenet.com, 2012, 152 Ko, ISSN 1776-0941.
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The core of Labour Process Theory was initially constituted by two hypothesis, mainly inspired by Braverman’s work: first, the intellectual division of labour is a form of division of labour specific to capital-labour relationship, second, the successive stages of intellectual division of labour were related to the stages of capitalism. After founding considerable success in the 70s, the IDL theory was criticized and in many respects lost its importance in scientific debates in 80s and during the 90s. Two reasons seem to have contributed to the ebb of deskilling / upskilling arguments: a durable misunderstanding of intellectual division of labour thesis and the change of era occurred mid 70s. But, the intellectual division of labour analysis could become relevant once more, because of the scientific progresses realized since the 70s and because of the nature of the current crisis.
1. The ebb was not due to the criticism, but to the durable misunderstanding of intellectual division of labour thesis
1.1. Criticism of deskilling thesis was numerous, but not essential to explain the ebb of the thesis.
1.2. The confusion of IDL, Taylorism, Fordism and fragmentation of tasks
1.2.1. The regrouping of operations was often interpreted as the beginning of the reversal of intellectual division of labour
1.2.2. The conceptual rupture existing between Taylorist principles and Fordist principles was not perceived
1.2.3. The social and economical contradictions of intellectual division of labour were ignored or forgotten
1.3. Capitalist technical change
2. The second reason of the ebb of the deskilling theory was the change of era
2.1. Oil and currency crisis of 70s changed the priority of employees
2.2. A stimulating research road came from what one would later called French School of Regulation
2.3. To react against this drift, two international programs of GERPISA
3. The current crisis could be an opportunity to re-boost the interest for IDL theory
3.1. The deregulation of employment and finance since the 90s have disseminated the most brutal forms of intensification of work, of deskilling of workers and of job insecuritiy in many countries
3.2. The capital-labour relationship is as matter of fact a manner to live together
Conclusion: two conjectures
Intellectual division of labour, Taylorism, Fordism, fragmentation of tasks, deskilling / upskilling, Braverman, type of capitalism, productive models, capital-labour relationship
Anthropology, Economics, Management, History, History of Sciences and Technologies, Engineering, Philosophy, Cognitive sciences, Political Science, Sociology
to personal questioning
to scientific reflection of research laboratory or network
to national and international scientific debate
to diffusion of scientific results
to implementation of scientific results
References, commentaries, critics
✔ Freyssenet M., Le concept de rapport social, comme socle possible et acceptable d’une approche intégrée en sciences sociales, Colloque International Recherche&Régulation 2015 « La théorie de la régulation à l’épreuve des crises », Paris : 10-12 juin . Éditions numériques, freyssenet.com, 2015, 1,21 Mo, ISSN 1776-0941. En espagol, Freyssenet M., De los modelos productivos al concepto de relación social, un intento de hacer converger las ciencias sociales, IX Congreso Nacional de la Asociación Mexicana de Estudios del Trabajo : El Trabajo que México necesita, Aguascalientes, 5-7 de Agosto 2015. Edición numérica : freyssenet.com, 2015, 60 Ko, ISSN 1776-0941.
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