The working class

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The first part of the lecture will focus on the concept of class. Is class a sociological or a political category? We will elaborate on the concepts such as free worker, wage-labour, exploitation, class antagonism, class relations, middle class and we will follow the formation of class in three realms being production, circulation and reproduction.

The second part will provide an overview of the changes in the relations of production and thus in class composition since 19th cc. Mercantilism, putting-out system, industrial revolution, Taylorism- Fordism will be among topics we discuss.

The third part will focus on class composition today. The concept of precarity, the world-wide trends, intersectionality, and the obstacles and possibilities of organisation will be discussed.


Readings (in the order of priority)

Extract from: E.P. Thompson. Preface to 'The making of the English working class'

Excerpts from capital Volume 1&2

Excerpts from the 17th World Congress preparation text: "Social upheavals, fightbacks and alternatives"

Excerpts from ILO Report Women at Work Trends 2016