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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Views Read View form View source View history. In the production and reproduction of affects, in those networks of culture and communication, collective subjectivities are produced and sociality is produced—even if those subjectivities and that sociality are directly exploitable by capital. Lazzaratp initial synthesis of these results – framed in terms of an attempt to define the technical and subjective-political composition of the working class can be expressed in the concept of immaterial labor, which is defined as the labor that produces the informational and cultural concent of the commodity.

These are the terms in which we have to understand the cycle of production and the organization of labor. Immaterial labor produces first and foremost a “social relationship” a relationship of innovation, production, and consumption.

Retrieved from ” https: His focus is on power relations between post-Fordist corporations and information workers.

Lazzarato lazzxrato that immaterial labor occurs when companies co-opt a wider capacity for social labor “takes it on board and adapts it”8. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use.

Immaterial Labor

You are commenting using your Twitter account. To find out more, laabor how to control cookies, see here: As recent sociological analyses tell us, the more a product handled by the service sector is characterized as an immaterial product, the more it distances itself from the model of industrial organization of the relationship between production and consumption.

Great parallel reads would be Nudge Nudge, Think Think: What modern management techniques are looking for is lxbor “the worker’s soul to become part of the factory.

Issue 17, Fall 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 immategial involves author, reproduction, and reception. Themes commonly associated with immaterial labor in the context of the internet include: Lazzarato argues that the work of immaterial production “audiovisual production, advertising, fashion Lazzarzto 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 new phenomenologies of labor, the new dimensions of organization, communication, the potentiality of spontaneous synergies, the autonomy of the subjects involved, and the independence of the networks were neither foreseen nor foreseeable by a general theory that believed that material labor and an industrial economy were indispensable.

One face of immaterial labor can be recognized in analogy to the functioning of a computer. Behind the label of the independent “self-employed” worker, what we actually find is an intellectual proletarian, but who is recognized as such only by the employers who exploit him or her.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This page was last modified on 30 Marchat The legitimation that the Schumpeterian entrepreneur found in his or her capacity for innovation has lost its foundation. Maurizio Lazzarato Immaterial Labor.

Notify me of new comments via email. From a strictly economic point of view, the cycle of reproduction of immaterial labor dislocates the production-consumption relationship as it is defined as much by the “virtuous Keynesian circle” as by the Marxist reproduction schemes of the second volume of Capital.

To one degree or another this affective labor plays a certain role throughout the service industries, from fast food servers to providers of financial services, embedded in the moments of human interaction and communication. It is not simply that intellectual labor has become subjected to the norms of capitalist production.

Lazzarato plots a transition in this immaterial labor towards lazazrato intellectuality” and its widespread growth starting in the s, arguing that we should abandon dichotomies between “mental and manual labor” or “material labor and immaterial labor” to see how immateeial “labor process” incorporates both.

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.

Immaterial Labor – Maurizio Lazzarato

Reception is thus, from this point of view, a creative act and an integrative part of the product. Immaterial Labor All of these characteristics of postindustrial economics present both in large-scale industry and the tertiary sector are accentuated in the form of properly “immaterial” production. Work can thus be defined as the capacity to activate and manage productive cooperation.

If the cycle of immaterial production immediately demonstrates to us the secret of post-Taylorist production that is to say, that social communication and the social relationship that constitutes it become productivethen it would be interesting to examine how these new social relationships innervate even industry and services, and how they oblige us to reformulate and reorganize even the classical forms of “production.

In this context of ad-hoc creative cooperation, the unit of analysis is not the factory but the project. Immaterial labor constitutes itself in immediately collective forms that exist as networks and flows. 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.


Now, the post-Taylorist mode of production is defined precisely by putting subjectivity to work both in the activation of productive cooperation and in the production of the “cultural” contents of commodities. The concept of immaterial labor refers to two different aspects of labor. I should point out that what I am describing is not some utopian vision of recomposition, but the very real terrain and conditions of the conflict between social classes.

The subject becomes a simple relayer of codification and decodification, whose transmitted messages must be “clear and free of ambiguity,” within a communications context that has been completely normalized by management. If Fordism integrated consumption into the cycle of the reproduction of capital, post-Fordism integrates communication into it.

The particularity of the commodity produced through immaterial labor its essential use value being given by its value as informational and cultural content consists in the fact that it is not destroyed in the act of consumption, but rather it enlarges, transforms, and creates the “ideological” and cultural environment of the consumer. Since the production of services results in no material and durable good, we might define the labor involved in this production as immaterial labor—that is, labor that produces an immaterial good, such as a service, knowledge, or communication [6].

A significant amount of empirical research has been conducted concerning the new forms of the organization of work.

Consent agreements or contracts between social media and user-generated content platforms and their users have been proposed as a way of minimizing immaterial labor by allowing users to have more control over the use and circulation of the content, dataand metadata they produce.

As I have already said, my hypothesis is this: As we have seen, immaterial labor forces us to question the classical definitions of work and workforce, because it results from a synthesis of different types of knowhow: These ideological products are completely internal to the immaterizl of the formation of social communication; that is, they are at once the results and the prerequisites of these processes.

I cannot pause here to consider his works, but they are certainly fundamental for any genealogy of immaterial labor and its forms of reproduction.