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immaterial labour


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A Marxist concept designating a type of labour that produces a nonmaterial good such as a cultural product, communication, information, or knowledge. The kinds of productions associated with the so-called creative industry, or the ‘knowledge economy’ are the result of immaterial labour. Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri specify two kinds of immaterial labour: (i) problem-solving or analytic labour of the type we associate with professional service and management; (ii) affective labour of the type we associate with the service sector, so-called because it is the affect the staff display in themselves and evince in others that is the primary form of their labour (the waiter's smile is part of their job, in other words).

(i) problem-solving or analytic labour of the type we associate with professional service and management; (ii) affective labour of the type we associate with the service sector, so-called because it is the affect the staff display in themselves and evince in others that is the primary form of their labour (the waiter's smile is part of their job, in other words)

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies.


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