Subjectivity and the Dialectics of Praxis: Opening up the Core of Labour Process Analysis

  • Hugh Willmott
Part of the Studies in the Labour Process book series (SLP)


Prompted by the appearance of Labor and Monopoly Capital (1974), the labour process debate has been characterised by a series of critiques of its conceptual and historical adequacy, and by a stream of empirical studies which have varied considerably in their awareness and illumination of its central problematics. Although often exaggerated, deficiencies in Braverman’s analysis are now widely accepted. Empirical weaknesses, such as his excessive emphasis upon Taylorism and deskilling, have been addressed (e.g. Edwards, 1979). At the same time, efforts have been made to develop more adequate conceptual tools for analysing central themes, such as the dynamics of management control (e.g. Storey, 1985; Friedman, in this volume).


Social Identity Labour Process Capitalist System Capitalist Relation Social Reproduction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Althusser, L. (1969) For Marx (Harmondsworth: Penguin).Google Scholar
  2. Aronowitz, S. (1978) ‘Marx, Braverman and the Logic of Capitalism’, Insurgent Sociologist, vol. 8, no. 1: 126–46.Google Scholar
  3. Armstrong, P. (n.d.) ‘Labour and Monopoly Capital: the Degradation of Debate’ (Working Paper, Industrial Relations Research Unit, University of Warwick).Google Scholar
  4. Baudrillard, J. (1981) ‘For a Critique of the Political Economy of the Sign’, in M. Poster (ed.) Jean Baudrillard: Selected Writings (Cambridge: Polity).Google Scholar
  5. Berger, P. L. and T. Luckmann (1966) The Social Construction of Reality (Harmondsworth: Penguin).Google Scholar
  6. Berman, M. (1982) All That is Solid Melts into Air (London: Verso).Google Scholar
  7. Braverman, H. (1974) Labor and Monopoly Capital (New York: Monthly Review Press).Google Scholar
  8. Burawoy, M. (1979) Manufacturing Consent (University of Chicago Press).Google Scholar
  9. Burawoy, M. (1981) Terrains of Contest: Factory and State Under Capitalism and Socialism’, Socialist Review, vol. 11, no. 4: 83–124.Google Scholar
  10. Burawoy, M. (1984) ‘The Contours of Production Politics’, in C. Bergquist (ed.), Labor in the Capitalist World Economy (Beverley Hills: Sage).Google Scholar
  11. Burawoy, M. (1985) The Politics of Production (London: Verso).Google Scholar
  12. Clawson, D. and R. Fantasia (1983) ‘Beyond Burawoy: the Dialectics of Conflict and Consent on the Shop Floor’, Theory and Society, 12: 671–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cohen, S. (1987) ‘A Labour Process to Nowhere?’, New Left Review, 165: 34–50.Google Scholar
  14. Cressey, P. and J. MacInnes (1980) ‘Voting for Ford: Industrial Democracy and the Control of Labour’, Capital and Class, 11: 5–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cutler, T. (1978) ‘The Romance of “Labour”’, Economy and Society, vol. 7, no. 1: 74–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. D’Amico, R. (1978) ‘Desire and the Commodity Form’, Telos, 35: 88–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Deleuze, G. and F. Guattari (1984) Anti-Oedipus, (London: Athlone).Google Scholar
  18. Elger, A. (1982) ‘Braverman, Capital Accumulation and Deskilling’, in S. Wood (ed.) The Degradation of Work? (London: Hutchinson).Google Scholar
  19. Foucault, M. (1982) ‘The Subject and Power’, in H. Dreyfus and P. Rabinow, Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics (University of Chicago Press).Google Scholar
  20. Friedman, A. (1977) Industry and Labour: Class Struggle at Work and Monopoly Capitalism (London: Macmillan).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Friedman, A. (1984) ‘Developing the Managerial Strategies Approach to the Labour Process’, Capital and Class.Google Scholar
  22. Gartman, D. (1982) ‘Ideology in the Labor Process: A Review of Burawoy’s Manufacturing Consent’, Insurgent Sociologist, vol. 11, no. 3: 91–6.Google Scholar
  23. Gartman, D. (1983) ‘Structuralist Marxism and the Labor Process: Where Have the Dialectics Gone’, Theory and Society, 12: 659–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Giddens, A. (1979) Central Problems in Social Theory (London: Macmillan).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gintis, H. (1976) ‘The Nature of Labour Exchange and the Theory of Capitalist Production’, Review of Radical Political Economics, vol. 8, no. 2:Google Scholar
  26. Hegel, G. (1931) The Phenomenology of Mind (London: George Allen & Unwin).Google Scholar
  27. Henriques, J., W. Hollway, C. Urwin, C. Venn and V. Walkerdine (1984) Changing the Subject: Psychology, Social Regulation and Subjectivity (London: Methuen).Google Scholar
  28. Jacoby, R. (1976) ‘Review of Labor and Monopoly Capital’, Telos, 29: 199–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Johnson, C. (1980) ‘The Problem of Reformism and Marx’s Theory of Fetishism’, New Left Review, 119: 70–96.Google Scholar
  30. Kelly, J. (1985) ‘Management’s Redesign of Work: Labour Process, Labour Markets and Product Markets’, in D. Knights et al. (eds), Job Redesign (Aldershot: Gower).Google Scholar
  31. Knights, D. and H. C. Willmott (1976) ‘Humanistic Social Science and the Theory of Human Needs’, Interpersonal Development, 5.Google Scholar
  32. Knights, D. and H. C. Willmott (1982) ‘Fromm’s Contribution to a Theory of Work Organization’, Praxis International, vol. 2, no. 2.Google Scholar
  33. Knights, D. and H. C. Willmott (1982a) ‘Power, Values and Relations’, Sociology, vol. 16, no. 4:Google Scholar
  34. Knights, D. and H. C. Willmott (1983) ‘Dualism and Domination’, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Sociology vol. 19, no. 1.Google Scholar
  35. Knights, D. and H. C. Willmott, H. C. (1985) ‘Power and Identity in Theory and Practice’, Sociological Review, vol. 33, no. 1.Google Scholar
  36. Knights, D. and H. C. Willmott (forthcoming) Undoing Sociology (London: Macmillan).Google Scholar
  37. Leonard, P. (1984) Personality and Ideology (London: Macmillan).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Levin, D. (1981) ‘Approaches to Psychoanalysis: Freud, Jung and Tibetan Buddhism’, in R. S. Valle and R. Von Eckartsberg (eds), Metaphors of Consciousness (New York: Plenum).Google Scholar
  39. Lichtman, R. (1982) The Production of Desire: The Integration of Psychoanalysis into Marxist Theory.Google Scholar
  40. Littler, C. and G. Salaman (1982) ‘Bravermania and Beyond: Recent Theories of the Labour Process’, Sociology, vol. 16, no. 2: 215–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Mackenzie, G. (1977) The Political Economy of the American Working Class’, British Journal of Sociology, vol. 28, no. 2: 244–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Marx, K. (1971), Theories of Surplus Value, vol. 3 (Moscow: Progress).Google Scholar
  43. Marx, K. (1973) Grundrisse (Harmondsworth: Penguin).Google Scholar
  44. Marx, K. (1975) Early Writings (Harmondsworth: Penguin).Google Scholar
  45. Marx, K. (1976) Capital. vol. 1 (Harmondsworth: Penguin).Google Scholar
  46. Marx, K. and F. Engels (1970) ‘Manifesto of the Communist Party’, Marx and Engels Selected Works in One Volume (London: Lawrence & Wishart).Google Scholar
  47. Meszaros, I. (1970) Marx’s Theory of Alienation, (London: Merlin).Google Scholar
  48. Neimark, M. and A. M. Tinker (1986) ‘On Rediscovering Marx: Disolving Agency and Structure in Dialectical Unity’ (paper delivered at the 4th UMIST-Aston Conference on the Organisation and Control of the Labour Process, University of Aston, March.Google Scholar
  49. Oilman, B. (1971) Alienation: Marx’s Conception of Man in a Capitalist Society (Cambridge University Press).Google Scholar
  50. Peck, G. R. (1982) ‘The Labour Process According to Burawoy: Limits of A Nondialectical Approach to Capitalist Workplace Relations’, Insurgent Sociologist, vol. 11, no. 3: 81–90.Google Scholar
  51. Pollert, A. (1981) Girls, Wives, Factory Lives (London: Macmillan).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Sayer, D. (1983) Marx’s Method (Brighton: Harvester).Google Scholar
  53. Sayer, D. (1987) The Violence of Abstraction (Oxford: Basil Blackwell).Google Scholar
  54. Seve, L. (1978) Man in Marxist Theory and the Psychology of Personality (Brighton: Harvester).Google Scholar
  55. Storey, J. (1983) Managerial Prerogative and the Question of Control (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul).Google Scholar
  56. Storey, J. (1985) ‘The Means of Management Control’, Sociology, vol. 19, no. 2: 193–212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Thompson, P. (1983) The Nature of Work (London: Macmillan).Google Scholar
  58. Willis, P. (1977) Learning to Labour (Farnborough: Saxon House).Google Scholar
  59. Willmott, H. C. (1986) ‘Unconscious Sources of Motivation in the Theory of the Subject: An Exploration and Critique of Giddens’ Dualistic Models of Action and Personality’, Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour vol. 16, no. 1: 105–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Willmott, H. C. (1987) ‘Racism, Politics and Employment Relations’ in G. Lee and R. Loveridge (eds), The Manufacture of Disadvantage (Milton Keynes: Open University Press).Google Scholar
  61. Willmott, H. C. (forthcoming) ‘Beyond Paradigmatic Closure in Organisational Analysis’, in J. Hassard and D. Pym (eds), The Theory and Philosophy of Organisations (London: Croom Helm).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© David Knights and Hugh Willmott 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hugh Willmott

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations