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Arbeit und Vergesellschaftung. Eine aktuelle Erinnerung an die klassische Gesellschaftstheorie

Reinhart Kößler, Hanns Wienold

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The current tendency to purge the question of work from social theory amounts to a severe restriction of that theory’s scope and content. In a brief sweep through some of the history of social thought, the centrality of work t such approaches is recalled. The potential contribution of a critical, comprehensive conception of work is then explored in a closer look at central portions of Marx’s work on the critique of political economy. From this vantage point, work is a constitutive dimension of co-operation, communication, knowledge and society’s relationship to nature, all central themes of current social theory. Moreover, a critical reading of classical political economy and its Marxian critique can yield important insights into current problems confronting the debate on development such as the informal sector or marginality, as far as they revolve around the social modalities of work for survival and reproduction.