An outline for a block course as part of “Theories of Modern Society” at Zeppelin University Friedrichshafen in Feb-March 2012:
Perspective Society : Marx, Ford, Jobs.
This 3-part discussion takes Theories of Modern Society as a research problem in the tradition of workplace Inquiries. In part one, by examining the Blue Books and Factory Inspector reports that Marx used for the Working Day chapter of Capital Volume one, we will look at the Industrial Revolution in the mid 18th Century. In part two we will consider Fordist Production systems and the global advent of assembly work, then in part three the co-research tradition of Autonomist Marxism and Kolinko permits us to look at processed work and the alienations and precarity of net-life. Each of the sections coheres around ideas of workplace or social inquiry and co-research. Each section will also include some topical film analysis and discussion (eg: Germinal and Hard Times for mid 1800s, Tucker and Modern Times for 1920s, and Clerks and The Social Network for processed work for late 20th early 21st Century). Assessment will be your own inquiry into your own conditions of work, broadly defined.
Feb 24-25 Read ‘The Working Day’ chapter of Marx’s Das Kapital (chapter 8) or in English as Capital (chapter 10). This is about 90 pages. (you may of course read the earlier chapters if yu wish, but these are not compulsory, though they will be referred to in class, alongside illustrative films for discussion).
March 23-24 Read Part 4 of Marx’s Capital (chapters 10-13 in the German or 12-15 in the English). Again there will be films, discussion and additional reading in class.
April 20-21 Read ‘Hotlines’. Available online in English and German: http://www.nadir.org/nadir/initiativ/kolinko/lebuk/e_lebuk.htm
The class will be in English, but reading can be German or English. Additional resources on the blog https://hutnyk.wordpress.com
Professor John Hutnyk
Goldsmiths College,University of London