The working class today

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The Working Class Past & Present

We will start with discussing 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, surplus-value, class antagonism, class relations, middle class and we will follow the formation of class in three realms being production, circulation and reproduction.

Second, we will provide an overview of the changes in the relations of production in the history of capitalism. Transatlantic trade, Mercantilism, putting-out system, industrial revolution, Taylorism- Fordism will be among topics we discuss. Our main focus will be to observe continuities and ruptures in labour relations in pre-capitalist and capitalist mode of productions.

We will end with discussing 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

ILO Women at Work Trends 2016

ILO Global Estimates of Modern Slavery- excerpt