Sociology Seminar 2-3pm ALB - Dr Graeme Kirkpatrick
|Starts:||14:00 8 Nov 2017|
|Ends:||15:00 8 Nov 2017|
|What is it:||Seminar|
|Organiser:||School of Social Sciences|
|Who is it for:||University staff|
|Speaker:||, Graeme Kirkpatrick|
You are warmly invited to the November Sociology seminar given by Dr Graeme Kirkpatrick, Sociology, SoSS.
The seminar will take place on Wednesday the 8th November, 2-3pm, in the Arthur Lewis Boardroom.
Graeme's talk is entitled: 'Karl Marx and the dialectic of technology reform'
There is a paradox in Marx’s writings on technology. First, he says that technology development will create the material conditions for socialism. Humanity endures capitalism in order to acquire the productive power that is needed to support a society based on plenty. On the other hand, though, Marx identifies capitalist technology as a weapon developed by the bourgeoisie to attack workers. Viewed in this way, capitalist machinery shatters the unity of the labour process (de-skilling) and undermines worker solidarity by causing unemployment.
On an old-fashioned ‘dialectical’ reading, this paradox counts for little because when capitalist social conditions are removed the machines forged as weapons against them will become the workers’ best friends: it’s not the machines but how they are used that really matters. However, a machine that is arduous and unpleasant to use will not be made less so when ‘socialism’ is proclaimed. I suggest that resolving this paradox may require a more fundamental revision of Marx’s problematic than recent commentators (Feenberg 2010; Harvey 2010; Therborn 2008) have been willing to countenance.
Organisation: Sociology, SoSS
Travel and Contact Information
Boardroom 2nd floor
Arthur Lewis Building