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Publication - Dr Harry Pitts

    Precariousness and the ‘end of salarization’ in the informational society


    Pitts, FH, 2014, ‘Precariousness and the ‘end of salarization’ in the informational society’. Lo Squaderno, vol 31., pp. 11-14


    In this piece, I critically reflect upon some of the claims made about precariousness and the end of salarisation in the context of an informational society. The main source and target of critique will be one of the most notable early renderings of the topic, that of Manuel Castells, with additional material from the work of Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri. The account will conclude, following Paolo Virno’s negative rendition of Marx’s thesis of the general intellect, that precariousness does not herald the end of salarization and the traditional capital-labour relation, but rather its reinforcement through flexibilization and informationalization. Rumours of the demise of the wage relation are suggested to be exaggerations, with the latter as strong as ever, diversifying and expanding into new forms and areas of life. The characteristics of contemporary capitalism that Castells summarizes in the ‘end of salarization’ thesis do not mark the disintegration of the capital-labour relation, but rather its renewal and fortification. Despite the potential presented by precariousness for a recalibration of the capital-labour relation, it exists today in the service of salarization rather than anything otherwise.

    Full details in the University publications repository