Re-Casting the Power of Labour: Working in the shadow of the Digital Age

Annual Neil Aggett Labour Studies Lecture

Annual Neil Aggett Labour Studies Lecture hosted by the Neil Aggett Studies Unit (NALSU) and the Department of Sociology and Industrial Sociology and Economics and Economic History in partnership with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung South Africa. 

Re-Casting the Power of Labour: Working in the shadow of the Digital Age.

The paper: There is a widespread view that labour, as a counter-hegemonic force, has come to an end. there is a lot going for these arguments; there is no question that there has been a decline of union membership and density in the Global North. But the problem with the pessimistic 'end of labour thesis' is that it reifies globalisation and the digital age, giving them a logic and coherence that they do not have. mostly importantly, the pessimists present workers as victims. The result is that labour is seen as an actor without agency that cannot think of alternatives or imagine a future towards which labour can work. In this lecture, Professor Webster will draw on the power resources approach to examine the new forms of worker organisation emerging among large swathes of precarious and informal labour in Africa and South Africa. He will identify examples where workers on the margins are beginning to cross the divide between the protected and the unprotected, the established workers and those marginalised by liberalisation. 

Date: Wednesday, 2 November 2022
Time: 16H00 
venue: 123 High Street, Gram Hotel (Albany Room) Or
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