• Richard Hall
Part of the Marxism and Education book series (MAED)


This chapter address the alienation of the academic from her species through the iron law of competition, reinforced through global academic labour arbitrage, research and teaching metrics, and performance management. The argument connects academic labour to the hierarchical, globalised forces of production that shape capitalist social relations, in order to discuss the form and the organising principles under which academic labour is subsumed for value. The chapter argues that academics have a tendency to reify their own labour such that it becomes something that they struggle for, rather than against. They mirror capital’s identification or measurement of them as productive/non-productive, by identifying themselves with their status. However, repeatedly adopting this approach can only lead to a sense of helplessness and alienation from other forms of globalised labour. This is amplified where unproductive activity or performance leads to individual identity being deformed through restructuring, demotion or denial, and becoming a non-identity. By refocusing on the form of labour in general, rather than the specific content of academic labour, it becomes possible to move beyond reification towards struggle.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Hall
    • 1
  1. 1.De Montfort UniversityLeicesterUK

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