Contributions of a materialist ontology to the critical knowledge of labour processes and workers struggles

Maria Ceci Misoczky, Rafael Kruter Flores


This essay argues that a materialist ontology can contribute to a renewal of the analysis of contemporary labour processes and indicate new possibilities for addressing workers struggles. An ontological/explanatory critique is indispensable to a transformative praxis that confronts the capitalist organization of labour and creates alternatives for the emancipation of labour and humankind. Part of this critique would have to be directed to theory itself, including Labour Process Theory. The main contributions of a materialist ontology in this respect are related to: commodity production inserted in a wider historical context; the overcoming of the subjectivist/objectivist dilemma; labour processes and struggles as open-ended dynamics in which the possibility of freedom always plays a central role; the focus on the qualitative aspects of value (social form), its manifestations and expressions in concrete labour processes and the ways it conditions or determines social relations of production, actions and struggles; the consideration of everyday life and its ontological deep determinants; the analysis of workers organisations and struggles as social exercises of freedom (conscious choices) under structural historically constructed constrains.


materialist ontology; Labour Process Theory; ontological critique; value; dialectics

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DOI 10.21583 

eISSN: 2447-4851

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