The Future of Work

Superexploitation & Social Precariousness in the 21st Century


This book analyses the processes, mutations and trends currently characterising the world of work that are bound up within the deep contradictions of a global capitalist system troubled by systemic crisis, where the old Fordist and Keynesian state order has been substituted by a minimal, pro-business neoliberal State founded on the intensive restructuring of economic and productive systems and work organisation, characterised by labour deregulation, flexibility, super-exploitation and social precariousness. This is a work that illustrates the paradigmatic transition from social and labour relations based on job security, comprehensive collective agreements and guaranteed social rights, towards new social relations that find their technical, political and organizational roots in job insecurity, work rotation and monumental social insecurity, generally expressed in the systemic and growing loss of social and labour rights by workers the world over. First published in Spanish by the Facultad de Ciencias Políticas y Sociales de la UNAM and Editorial Miguel Ángel de Porrúa as Los rumbos del trabajo. Superexplotación y precariedad social en el siglo XXI, Mexico, 2012.
Restricted Access


EUR €93.00USD $120.00

Biographical Note

Adrián Sotelo Valencia, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), is Professor and Researcher of the LatinCentro de Estudios Latinoamericanos at the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences UNAM, Mexico. He has published book and many articles on Latin American issues, sociology of work and dependency theory

Table of contents

List of Tables and Figures Preface List of Abbreviations Introduction PART I – STRUCTURAL CRISIS AND ABSTRACT LABOUR 1. Capital-labour as Antipodes? Introduction The World of Work: Extinction or Centrality in the Current Day? Why Speak of an Antipode? Why does it Persist in the 21st Century? Conclusions 2. The Labour Process and Productive Labour in Contemporary Capitalism Introduction The Labour Process (Constant and Variable Capital): a Re-evaluation Theoretical Premises Productive and Unproductive Labour Conclusions 3. The Structural Crisis of Capital and Abstract Labour Introduction Absolute and Relative Surplus Value The Crisis of Relative Surplus Value, the Dismeasure of Value, and the Dismeasure of Labour Power The Capitalist Crisis as a Crisis of Value & Surplus Value Conclusion PART II – THE WORLD OF WORK IN THE 21ST CENTURY 4. Surplus Value and the Super-exploitation of Labour Introduction Exploitation and the Labour Theory of Value Marini’s Approach to the Sociology of Work Two Patterns of Capital Accumulation: Structural Heterogeneity vs. Technological Standardisation Labour Power: Strategic to the Production of Extraordinary Profits The Precariousness of the World of Work Conclusions 5. The New Morphology of Capitalism Introduction The Socio-political Significance of Old and New Peripheries in the Global Economy The Character of Super-exploitation under Advanced Capitalism The Hegemonic of Relative Surplus Value in Capitalism and Labour Super-exploitation Critiques & Counter-critiques Super-exploitation, Surplus Value and Rates of Profit Exploitation in Advanced Countries Wages and Labour Productivity Neoliberalism, Austerity and Labour Super-exploitation in Advanced Capitalism Conclusions Epilogue: The Future of Work References Index


All interested in sociology of work and problems of dependency in Latin America.