Labour Process Theory and the legacy of operaismo. New directions, old problems

Author/s Paul Thompson, Frederick Harry Pitts
Publishing Year 2024 Issue 2023/167 Language English
Pages 24 P. 163-186 File size 245 KB
DOI 10.3280/SL2023-167008
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Simultaneous with the rise of Labour Process Theory (LPT), Italy was the centre of a parallel and prominent theorisation of the labour process in an overlapping intellectual and social context: operaismo. Both have undergone a recent resurgence. This paper provides a critical commentary on the development and claims of operaismo, drawing out some comparisons with LPT. Diversity in the operaist traditions and trajectories are recognised, but the paper focuses on areas where contrasts and conflicts between LPT and aspects of operaismo continue to have salience. There are similarities in the ideas and goals of the two approaches, with both focusing on the dynamic interplay between labour and capital in the hidden abode of production. But operaismo is also an explicitly political project in that it seeks to identify privileged class subjects that can act as the vanguard of broader social transformation. Through an examination of a range of issues concerning changing workplace regimes and how to study them, we find this and other differences have significant analytical, normative and methodological dimensions.

Keywords: Labour Process Theory; Operaismo; Class Composition; Politics of Production.

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  • From the age of immanence to the autonomy of the political: (Post)operaismo in theory and practice Frederick Harry Pitts, in Philosophy & Social Criticism 01914537241240430/2024
    DOI: 10.1177/01914537241240430

Paul Thompson, Frederick Harry Pitts, Labour Process Theory and the legacy of operaismo. New directions, old problems in "SOCIOLOGIA DEL LAVORO " 167/2023, pp 163-186, DOI: 10.3280/SL2023-167008