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Labour Studies
David Bush

LABR ST 1C03 January 24 , 2013 The Organization of Work under Capitalism: **Key terms = panopticon, scientific management, deskilling, mechanization of work, human relations Capitalism - Labour produces a surplus value for capitalists. The surplus value is the source of profits - Profits are consumed either as luxury goods or expansion to grow the business - Capitalist firms over time expand and consolidate - Capitalism is constantly expanding system in search of profits - system that is based on the exploitation of labour. Workers who are alienated from the means of production are forced to sell their labour to make a living Capitalism is constantly expanding and highly competitive. When it doesn’t expand or expand fast enough there is an economic crisis. For Capitalists this poses as two questions: 1) How can I ensure my business remains competitive? INCREASE PROFITS 2) How can I squeeze out the most surplus value from my employees? Limits to Extending the Working Day: - Physical limitation of workers (people need proper sleep and food) - Collective resistance by workers. Surplus Value through Efficiency is shortening the time it takes the worker to produce the value equivalent to their wages. The Command and Control of Work: - If lengthening the work day is a limited option in terms of increasing profits, other needs must be used - The first effort was to concentrate production by means of the factory system - Capitalists also started to consolidate their businesses to increase their economies of scale and their competitiveness - Employers begin to assert more control over the work process and workers. Surveillance: - With the birth of factory system, employers can directly oversee workers - This surveillance allows management to increase their control over work - Jeremy Bentham’s idea of a Panopticon as a form of control and power Scientific Management LABR ST 1C03 January 24 , 2013 - A movement arising around the turn of the 20 century to assert more managerial control over the work process by rationalizing it - This movement was popularized by
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