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Kesar, Surbhi, Bhattacharya, Snehashish and Banerjee, Lopamudra (2022) 'Contradictions and Crisis in the World of Work: Informality, Precarity and the Pandemic.' Development and Change, 53 (6). pp. 1254-1282.

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ABSTRACT: The severe economic impact of the COVID‐19 pandemic on the global working population can be interpreted as both a fallout from, and a violent assertion of, a larger crisis in the world of work. While this crisis has been attributed to the pre‐existing conditions of widespread informality and precarity in the domain of remunerative work, the authors of this article dig deeper to read these conditions and the crisis tendencies as articulations of certain key contradictions that define the world of work in the present conjuncture of global capitalism. The article highlights three specific contradictions: that between capital and labour in the ‘interior’ space of capital; that between capital and its ‘outside’; and those emerging from ‘dispersion’ of the circuit of capital to its ‘outside’. The ‘outside’ is the economic space that exists within the capitalist social formation but represents the domain of unwaged work carried out in the processes of non‐capitalist production and distribution, both within and outside the space of the household. The authors argue that the expanded reproduction of capital has sharpened this triad of contradictions in the present conjuncture in specific ways in the global South and the global North through continuous informalization of work, exclusion of masses of population from the ‘interior’ domain of capital, and insistent dispersion of the circuit of capital to its ‘outside’ through various forms of ‘non‐standard’ labour processes and work arrangements. The article provides some illustrations of how these processes have registered and contributed to the crisis situation in the times of the pandemic.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Economics
ISSN: 14677660
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
SWORD Depositor: JISC Publications Router
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2022 08:49

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