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Prepared for the Workshop: Everyday Life in World Politics and Economics London School of Economics 11 May 2007
Matt Davies Newcastle University School of Geography, Politics, and Sociology 40-42 Great North Road Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE7 1RU Matt.Davies@ncl.ac.uk
In so doing. while works are understood as works of art. Products and production thus become routinized. banal parts of everyday life. . while works have a “unique” and irreplaceable character. This distinction is reflected in Raymond Williams’ etymological elaboration of three distinct meanings of “culture” in Keywords. and the Division of Labour: Notes for a Cultural and Political Economic Critique Matt Davies Newcastle University Abstract Henri Lefebvre argues that products can be distinguished from works: products are the outcomes of repetitive acts. not hypostatising “culture” as codes. What are the material foundations for these distinctions. a specialized “higher” activity separated from everyday life. Products. values. or discourse but as embodied and historically determined practice.Works. it will argue that a “cultural turn” for International Political Economy must situate its critique in materialist terms. and what are the implications these have for a “cultural turn” in International Political Economy? This paper will examine these related distinctions as the historical outcomes of the development of the mental/manual division of labour.
An influential contemporary approach is the “culturalization” thesis that suggests that crucial political economic processes have taken on increasingly cultural characteristics. less influential but perhaps even more compelling than the previous two.Works. more particularly. In the first place.” Another contemporary approach. and that this separation is linked to broader processes of historical development. This questioning has taken several forms. The cultural turn is relevant to these concerns not only because culture – understood as a “whole way of life” – could provide important concepts and methods for investigating everyday life. sees cultural meanings as embedded in or even determining economic life. this approach combined investigations into the political economy of the “culture industries” and their role in establishing and maintaining American dominance or hegemony in the post-World War II era with semiotic readings of the cultural products of the American cultural industries in the receiving contexts of the developing world. du Gay and Pryke 2002). in particular. there is the now (sadly) neglected work on cultural imperialism from the 1960s and 1970s. but also because the cultural turn has provided some of the most important innovations in recent studies of political economy (see especially Ray and Sayer 1999. have been separated from human life.g.. Robert Reich (1991) and others on knowledge or information economies. A third contemporary approach. Lefebvre's understanding of this “residue” is very complex – a point to which we will return below – and has been the object of some trenchant (if misguided. whether a “cultural turn” for international political economy or a cultural political economy can help situate everyday life as a concern for the analysis of international political economy.g. Products. Thus the general question this essay will address is whether political economy can help explain the emergence and problems of everyday life and. such as reflection or philosophy. Taken as a whole. such as the investigations of Herbert Schiller (1971) or Armand Mattelart (e. and du Gay and Pryke 2002). This important body of work in cultural political economy has helped to question the conceptual and methodological dualism of culture versus economy. is . and the Division of Labour: Notes for a Cultural and Political Economic Critique Matt Davies Newcastle University DRAFT ONLY . see Gardiner 2004) criticisms of Lefebvre. a particular way of organizing daily life. This thesis of an epochal shift in the global political economy is primarily identified with Lash and Urry (1994) but it also informs the arguments of Manuel Castells (2000) on network societies. the division of mental labour from manual labour. one that questions this notion of culturalization. that is. because the process of separation suggests both that everyday life is itself an historical creation. Dorfman and Mattelart 1984). But the separation is what prompts these comments.PLEASE DO NOT CITE These preliminary reflections stem from Henri Lefebvre’s definition of everyday life as the “residue” remaining after specialized occupations or “higher” activities. e. This type of approach relies frequently on a discursive analysis usually associated with the work of Michel Foucault and examines the discursive construction of economic activity (see.. or Hardt and Negri (2000) on “empire” and “immaterial labour.
in the first place. However.the call for an “ethnographic international political economy” of Naeem Inayatullah and David Blaney (2004). aestheticized. each in its own way. I will first look to Raymond Williams’s cultural materialist approach to culture and Henri Lefebvre’s conception of everyday life. thus running the risk of reducing the economy into something derivative or epiphenomenal. They combine the work in economic history and economic anthropology of Karl Polanyi with the work of Tzvetan Todorov and of Ashis Nandy to call for an approach to international relations that can address the “problem of difference.g. For this reason. I have much more sympathy with Inayatullah and Blaney’s ethnographic approach to this problem. these latter three approaches. economics). immaterial practices. the Foucauldian approaches tend to undermine the dualism between culture and economy by inverting it. the dominance of mental labour over manual labour and the dominance of “higher” or specialized activities over everyday life – precisely the kinds of problems that the critique of everyday life examines. The artifice depends . However. they tend not to foreground production or the social relations of production. which did not set out to critique the dualism of culture and economy.. preserves the dualism between culture and economy even as it asserts the increasing importance of culture for political economy. The culturalization thesis. i. etc. The first idea here is that the separation is real but. However. values. which I will argue are crucial if we are going to critique the mental/manual division of labour. artificial: the product of a particular development of human society (especially capitalist modernity). The second part of the paper will examine that separation. By positing an epochal shift towards more culturalized. I will explore this question in greater detail below. does critique this dualism by questioning the analytical and practical separations of culture and economy. the cultural turn opens a space where everyday life might find a place in political economic thinking. Both of these approaches risk uncritically reflecting.. From the perspective of the analyses that examine the discursive construction of economically relevant activities. what is needed first is a conception of culture that can help to overcome the dualism that persists in the predominant approaches to cultural political economy and that can open a space for the critique of everyday life in international political economy. or information driven economies. the culturalization thesis also suffers from another misunderstanding of culture. semiotics.e. and this depends on (2) not thinking about how we come to think of culture as separate from other practices (e. this thesis misses the way that all economic activity rests on culturally driven or constructed meanings. characteristic of more developed countries or of more highly remunerated or liberating occupations. However. This happens in a number of ways but particularly problematic is the way that those political economic activities that take on a cultural dimension tend to be dominant. like everyday life..” Unlike the cultural imperialism thesis. The two reasons I think that existing concepts of culture used in economics or political economy are too thin are (1) culture tends to show up as discourse. In an effort to rethink the cultural turn. to greater or lesser degrees. there are problems in these approaches that are either intrinsic to them or that would prevent them from giving an adequate account of everyday life.
the mental/manual division of labour (the way we separate the tasks of thinking about how and what to produce and the tasks of producing). Raymond Williams provided a crucial starting point for understanding culture in his manifesto. thereby restricting them to merely economic functions. that it is both the most ordinary common meanings and the finest individual meanings. in effect. an extended appendix to Culture and Society. Williams distinguishes . perhaps – how work can never have its mental and creative aspects completely abstracted from it. which becomes a hierarchically ordered social division of labour. which its members are trained to. (Williams 1989. From the sense of inhabiting we get the modern English term “colony” and from the sense of worship we get the term “cult. the more familiar modern senses of culture took form. ratified the separation of culture from economy by deeming the mass (working classes and middle classes) incapable of appreciating culture. These are the ordinary processes of human societies and human minds. WHAT IS CULTURE? In 1958. p. to honour with worship. Williams shows how the development of the idea of culture enabled this restricted elitist understanding of culture came about. especially as the latter is organized by the hierarchies rooted in historical forms of the social division of labour. which had several meanings: to inhabit. His analysis illustrates how the development of the concept is linked to the separation and hierarchization of culture and economy.on the ways we have of dividing labour: first. The root word for culture was the Latin term colere. 4) Williams is insisting on the conjunction of these two meanings because he is arguing against the then predominant view of culture as an elite property. Then the final part of the paper will go back to the idea of labour and work. to cultivate. “Culture is Ordinary”: A culture has two aspects: the known meanings and directions. to mean the arts and learning – the special processes of discovery and creative effort. and on the significance of their conjunction. the new observations and meanings. The view was associated with both left and right critiques of the emergence of “mass” society and. as in “high” culture. We use the word culture in these two senses: to mean a whole way of life – the common meanings. Some writers reserve the word for one or other of these senses.” Cultivation or husbandry initially gave the term “culture” a sense of process. and examine – in a kind of utopian way. which also organizes complex productive tasks into a technical division of labour (that under capitalism yields abstract labour with its social consequences). so that over time the culture of animals or “sugar beet culture” could yield a notion of the culture of the mind or of the spirit: husbandry as education. From here. I insist on both. and how both the analytical and political projects of re-integrating culture and political economy depend on organizing work in a way that gives workers the chance to (1) re-integrate their own creative capacities and creative practices into the work process and (2) re-integrate work into life itself in a way that doesn’t just subsume living into working life. In his etymological studies in Keywords. which are offered and tested. and we see through them the nature of a culture: that it is always both traditional and creative.
in contrast to the way that material culture predominates for some archaeologists and anthropologists. These two understandings of culture are near to the way cultural studies often understands culture. By insisting on the ordinariness of culture and culture as a whole way of life. If we reflect on the persistence of the dualism of culture and economy in cultural political economy. Similarly. I have already mentioned Lefebvre’s description of everyday life as a “residue” that remains after specialized or “higher” activities are separated out. a group. Williams’s approach is not to privilege one of these senses of the term over the others but to propose a more holistic understanding. or people. literature. It informed his philosophical writings as much as his political writings. For example. whether of a people. (ii) the independent noun. can be seen to locate culture in the first sense Williams identifies: a general process of intellectual. from Herder and Klemm. there is the spatial or urban Lefebvre of The Production of Space and the cultural or sociological Lefebvre of the several volumes of The Critique of Everyday Life. But we have also to recognize (iii) the independent and abstract noun which describes the works and practices of intellectual and especially artistic activity. spiritual and aesthetic development. p. If in our minds (by a sort of abstraction) we remove the highly specialized occupations from man and from the human. what is left? An apparently very scanty residue. whether used generally or specifically.three contemporary senses for culture: “(i) the independent and abstract noun which describes a general process of intellectual. the point is to understand the ways they emerge from particular historical circumstances and how they interact to shape the cultural possibilities for a particular class. which indicates a particular way of life. or humanity in general. they are at one and the same time its ultimate expression. as our study shows. In terms of these activities. In reality the so-called residue contains a “human raw material” which holds hidden wealth. his observations on urbanism as much as his investigations into rural life. we can see that it stems in part from a tendency to understand culture in one of these three more restricted senses. from C18. the culturalization thesis tends to understand the changes it perceives in the economy in terms of “signvalue” and aesthetics: its understanding of culture is located very near to the third and most widespread use of the term. The reception of Lefebvre in the English speaking context has tended to fragment his prolific contributions into different camps: today. a period. Everyday life was at the core of his research and theory for over fifty years. The narrower understandings are not in themselves wrong. The higher activities derive from it. its direct or indirect critique and its alienated form – albeit an . theater and film” (Williams 1988. But this separated everyday residue is not inert: it is itself productive. by focusing on how culture endows economic meaning to particular social activities. But this fragmentation of his thought is unwarranted. This seems often now the most widespread use: culture is music. his programmes for sociological research as much as his theoretical considerations of space and the state. 90). society. the discourse analyses. the ordinariness of culture in Raymond Williams recalls Henri Lefebvre’s insistence on the importance of everyday life. principally. painting and sculpture. Of course. spiritual and aesthetic development. the first definition of everyday life is a negative one.
Hence the criticism of everyday life was in fact a criticism of other classes. The writer. freed from the banality of labor. p. the poet. the artist.” as Williams would have us investigate – in order to provide the “programming” that is “imposed by the market. showers labor with contempt: These criticisms have a common element: they were the work of particularly gifted. p. situating everyday life in history: Let us simply say about daily life that it has always existed. As to the concept of ‘everydayness. culture over economy. What kind of life can it be. Lefebvre suggests that such a critique of daily life betrayed contempt for other people on the part of the critic. to religious transcendence in art. with a class structure reflecting the dominance of higher activities over daily life. lucid and active individuals (the philosopher. by marketing and advertisements. mental over manual labour. as Raymond Williams suggests. etc. Lefebvre provided his own terminological clarification. and for the most part found its expression in contempt for productive labour. for example. whose unfolding is imposed by the market. 5) . by marketing and advertisements. or the philosopher. The word everyday designates the entry of this daily life into modernity: the everyday as an object of a programming (d’une programmation).alienation embodying a more-or-less conscious and successful attempt to achieve “disalienation” (Lefebvre. However. the fragmentary in everyday life’ (Lefebvre 1988. with myths.’ it stresses the homogenous. which nevertheless still belonged to that class (Lefebvre 1991a. or to heroism and virility in war. to produce this extraordinary fussiness. I wonder.” This also signals the way the liberalism construes freedom as freedom of circulation and exchange and privileges such exchanges over other. 87). This is the same contempt Raymond Williams finds expressed in the disdain for ordinary lives in the “culture” of the Cambridge teashop: When I now read a book such as Clive Bell’s Civilisation. the repetitive.). at best it criticized the life of the dominant class in the name of a transcendental philosophy or dogma. this extraordinary decision to call certain things culture and then separate them. and therefore a hidden. capitalism and modernity shape the “values and myths” – or the “intellectual. It is what Lefebvre describes as the “fertile soil” in which the “flowers” of the higher activities bloom (Lefebvre 1991a. If. practices of social and cultural life. Thus this “residue” is also productive. but permeated with values. 87). p. p. 1991a. In truth their work belonged to a time and a class whose ideas were thus raised above the everyday onto the level of the exceptional and the dominant. so also does everyday life emerge from historical change. The critique of everyday life counterposed the banality and repetitions of daily life to philosophy and contemplation. deeper reality. by the system of equivalences. 86). Everyday life is evidently also a class-determined concept. I experience not so much disagreement as stupor. by the system of equivalences. our contemporary understandings of culture emerge as a part of a broader historical process. The qualification of “everyday” for everyday life thus describes a way of living. marginalized. 29). p. spiritual and aesthetic development. this individual lucidity or activeness concealed an appearance or illusion. as with a park wall. from ordinary people and ordinary work? (Williams 1989.
and repetitions of everyday life in the world of ordinary people and their work while locating discovery and creative practice in the world of the superior. repetitive. programming. or rather. the political economy of a cultural political economy cannot apprehend everyday life if it restricts its focus to the economic practices of circulation and exchange. class. This creativity underscores the dialectical nature of the separation of specialized. if we return to the problem of how a cultural political economy can contribute concepts and methods for situating everyday life in the global political economy and for overcoming the neglect of everyday life in international political economy. and artificial. 86-87) Thus. PRODUCTION AND THE DIVISION OF LABOUR It may be helpful to recapitulate some of the observations so far: the project of a cultural political economy comes out of a perceived need to overcome an analytical or . And every time a scientist comes up with a formula or a law. differentiated and highly specialized activities have never been separate from everyday practice. habits. In the same way eighteenth-century rationalism corresponded to the everyday attitude expressed in ‘commonplace books’. pleasure. they implied an indirect or implicit criticism of the everyday only inasmuch as they raised themselves above it. or humanity in general. we can also specify that conceptions that hypostatise or reify culture by locating the common meanings. spiritual or aesthetic development of a group. higher activities can apprehend neither the creative practices of subordinates in social relations nor the irruption of the mundane and prosaic into the practices of planning. shaping the forms of class domination. and controlling everyday life. Thus French eighteenth-century philosophy. higher activities from everyday life in Lefebvre’s conception: the separation is at once effective. and on work and production themselves. art. they have only appeared to be so. literature. incomplete: Superior.Williams’s point here is to insist on the creative capacities of ordinary people. That is. To elaborate this idea. people. Their consciousness of being separate from it was in itself a link. we can begin by specifying that culture for a cultural political economy must be understood in terms of what Raymond Williams signalled as the conjunction between ways of living and the intellectual. the power relations conjoining employers or managers with workers. technocrats and planners with inhabitants. Through Lefebvre’s critique of everyday life and through Williams’s arguments against elitism in culture. It must focus on the power relations articulated in the social relations of production. The creative practices of the subordinate groups. common meanings with the practices of discovery and creation point to the ways in which everyday life – and its critique – are both a burden and a resource for subordinate groups. we will now turn to the problem of work. are the social relations that constitute the global political economy. or more generally dominants with subordinates. ethics and politics corresponded to the everyday life of the bourgeoisie: the new pursuit of happiness. he is of necessity condensing a long experience in which the lowliest assistant and the simplest tool have had their part to play (Lefebvre 1991a. luxury. Furthermore. pp. profit and power. the conjunction of the inherited.
In effect. An artisan. the separation of specialized activities from everyday life. These separations – of culture from economy. To overturn the received. in part because they rely on a thin notion of culture and. of specialized activities from mundane. Like Williams. Alfred SohnRethel argues that abstract thinking (philosophy and science) is enabled by the social abstraction of commodity exchange (Sohn-Rethel 1978). We can see the consequences of dividing mental from manual labour through Henri Lefebvre’s (Lefebvre 1991b) review of Marx’s use of the notion of production. Sohn-Rethel argues that the separation of intellectual labour from manual labour flows out of the political struggle over the control over the production process. and aesthetic development. Lefebvre’s investigations show how this separation is. it is not necessary to accept de-skilling as an inevitable outcome of this struggle. however. In order to come up with a more satisfactory conception of culture. Like the separations that characterized the understanding of culture as Williams critiqued it.conceptual dualism between culture and economy. never fulfilled or completed. Contributions to this project have been provocative but have largely been unsatisfying. furthermore. a process. Indeed. of intellectual and aesthetic developments from the ordinary lives of people. everyday life is also determined by a fundamental separation of “higher” specialized activities. who shows how culture is both the process and products of general intellectual. Williams’s conceptual moves were linked to Henri Lefebvre’s theoretical work on everyday life. In his study of the social and historical foundations for epistemology. and second. first. what he calls a “society of appropriation” under capitalist social relations develops abstract ways of thinking on the basis of the need to separate the knowledge of the production process from the direct producers. and the fragmentation of everyday life. for example. but as labour itself becomes a commodity. that is. Lefebvre had to undertake a counter-intuitive project: to examine how space is . a conception of political economy that privileges circulation and exchange. especially philosophy or reflection. a product of a particular historical development of collective life. spiritual. prosaic everyday life – are linked to and directly invoke another fundamental separation that is itself a central concern for political economy: the division of labour. from the mundane and repetitive in daily life. control over the production process shifts to the capitalist who “produces” by bringing together the disparate elements of the production process. nor to assume that the terrain of this struggle would remain the same throughout the historical development of capitalist economies. Following Marx. that is. transcendental notion of space as a pre-existing “container” for being. This is a sophisticated version of the familiar (and somewhat discredited) “de-skilling” argument regarding industrial labour. an artifice. holds both the knowledge to produce a particular product and the skill to execute the production. and in particular the division between mental labour and manual labour. and the “whole way of life” or a group of people. we turned first to Raymond Williams. This conception helps remedy what had been a wilful neglect of the culture of ordinary people among cultural theorists of the day and to link together the two distinct understandings of culture. the separation of mental from manual labour is linked to and undergirds the separation of culture from economy.
The workplace is all around the house. At the same time the individual. both the mundane practices and festival. repetition. a product can be reproduced exactly. inventiveness. both everyday life and theatricality. p. could be developed. Lefebvre illustrates this dialectical unity by examining Venice: is the city a work or a product (Lebfebvre 1991b. […] Humanity. it is both: both an imaginative creation and the practical product of labour. political economic sense: “The narrower the conception. In The Critique of Everyday Life Volume 1. pp. labour took on an increasingly fragmented character. To make this theoretical move.” positive conception. What distinguishes peasant life so profoundly from the life of industrial workers. however. This move was extremely powerful. the closer it lies to its narrow. pp. Hegel’s conception of production was indeterminate and Marx made the move of endowing the concept with a substantive content or positivity by conflating the broad philosophical sense of production with a concrete. even today. With bourgeois society these various elements and their relations were overturned: in one sense they became differentiated. political economic content. But just as there are no “purely economic” activities – that is. for whom production has a “cardinal role” (Lefebvre 1991b. separate. Thus up to a point a way of living which strictly speaking did not belong to any one individual. their own consciousness. Formerly the imperatives of the peasant community (the village) regulated not only the way work and domestic life were organized. or provide for a category of “economic” as distinct from other activities – so also works and products imply each other and exist in conjunction with each other. in those modes of production. but festivals as well. productive labour was merged with everyday life: consider the lives of peasants and craftsmen. but more the a group of men committed to the ties – and limits – of their community or guild. 70-71). to specify it as a concept. p. a product: “…whereas a work has something irreplaceable and unique about it. their own world” (Lefebvre 1991b. Here.produced. for example. In this analysis. 68) – and a “narrow. he first had to analyze the notion of production. It allowed Marx to move between an indeterminate. more and more involved in . work is not separate from the everyday life of the family. In Lefebvre’s account. 69). imagination” (Lefebvre 1991b. Bourgeois society reasserted the value of labour. Lefebvre demonstrates how the separations occasioned changes in work and living spaces: In those [past] eras. p. and abstraction. but at the historical moment when the relation between labour and the concrete development of individuality was emerging. The more that the idea of “production denotes programming. economic activities cannot take place outside of the cultural systems that give them meaning. is precisely this inherence of productive activity in their life in its entirety. and is in fact the result of repetitive acts and gestures. endow value. which is to say social practice. Lefebvre is playing with the double meaning of the French word oeuvre. 73-75)? Greatly simplifying Lefebvre’s account. where a product is increasingly a thing. which signals both work as an activity and the notion of a work of art. in another they came to constitute a unified whole. 68). Lefebvre begins with Hegel. above all during the period of its ascendancy. The logic underlying these separations of mental from manual labour or of works from products is also historical. creates works and produces things” (Lefebvre 1991b. “broad” conception of production – “humans as social beings are said to produce their own life. the less it connotes creativity.
specialization. The technical division of labour takes place within an enterprise. and their subordination to the control of the capitalist. The role of the market – or catallaxy. it required the control of insubordinate skilled workers (Marx. To understand these processes. etc. To do so required controlling manual labour and. This argument was often extended to show how the technical division of labour could be a precursor to mechanization. This process extends from the social division of labour – in which one’s social position is at least in part determined by what one does in the world of work – to the technical division of labour – in which the production process is divided into isolated tasks to be reintegrated in the product itself. However. separation between differing spheres of activity. And so did leisure. in the first instance. the logic and functioning of the technical and social divisions of labour are not the same and social formations and the forms of social relations of production are more complex than a notion such as society-as-factory can describe. moments of creativity and discovery are rewarded by the market and increasingly complex needs can develop and be met spontaneously. became isolated and inward-looking. 3031) The separation of mental from manual labour thus structures the social division of labour. the social division of labour is determined by the way that the market links and distributes these independent producers.) … Family life became separate from productive activity. Taylorism can be understood as an expression of this struggle for control over the bodies of workers and Fordism as an extension of Taylorism to attempt to control the whole ways of life of workers. In classical political economy. this takes place by creating hierarchies in which the intellectual processes and intellectual development are deployed to control the production process. especially in Adam Smith. 1984) and.complex social relations. This effort to extend the command over the production process to the economy – and society – as a whole in Fordism is what Lefebvre referred to as the “bureaucratic society of controlled consumption” (Lefebvre. in the term used by the liberal Hayek but also embraced by the radical Andrew Sayer – is celebrated for its capacity to maximise the kinds of social needs that can be met and thus expanding the realm of freedom. 120). the division of labour is central to the functioning of the market. on the face of things. making workers redundant and weakening their position in the market for their labour and thus in society. Consequently.” (Lefebvre 1991 pp. it also became atomized (individualism. These three . it is necessary to examine the technical and social divisions of labour more carefully. as the separation proceeded. it problematizes the notion that the market and its social division of labour can be a realm of freedom. creativity is squeezed out of the labour process (and the worker) within the enterprise. In this realm. In the classical tradition. Individual consciousness split into two (into the private consciousness and the social or public consciousness). In the first place. p. Adam Smith’s example of the manufacture of pins through a detailed division of the tasks involved highlighted not only the gains in efficiency – more pins can be produced at lower costs with extensive technical divisions of the process – but also the de-skilling of the workers. the producers are “free” to pursue their own ends. Markets bring together dispersed producers as their products (commodities) circulate. the threat to personality. Capital Volume 1. cited in Sohn-Rethel 1978.
For some. Post-fordist labour practices. the body – a plethora of creative. praxis is not restricted to the utilitarian transformation of external nature through repetitive. creative deviation from the scripts is not permitted. fragmentation – are realized in the complex and political processes of dividing labour. in contrast. Workers in call centres are under constant and intense surveillance: the key strokes on their keyboards and the number of calls made are counted. The problem lies in what Lefebvre refers to as a “metaphysics of labour”: “Put differently. social. and of creative practice. the “form giving fire” (Marx). This complexity differentiates between different kinds of work and different qualities of working. REINTEGRATING CULTURE AND POLITICAL ECONOMY IS AN ANALYTICAL AND POLITICAL TASK One possible objection to the foregoing arguments is that focusing on work and production risks truncating the contribution to international political economy that an engagement with everyday life could provide. sensuality. these techniques seek to appropriate the creativity. p. inherited common meanings of the moments of the labour process could not be entirely separated from the moments of creativity and discovery. The separations structuring culture. Thus the processes Lefebvre describes as characteristic of everyday life – hierarchy. Fast food enterprises are organized and their labour processes are designed to have a high turnover rate in employment. emotive and imaginative practices Lefebvre calls poesis in his as yet untranslated 1965 work Métaphilosophie” (Gardiner 2000. homogenisation. encourage creativity on the part of workers but as a way of finding gains in efficiency. Workers remain creative: the received. For other workers. and technical – interact to create complex social formations in which producers circulate between multiple forms of power relations in production. Thus. could still have a superior collective knowledge of the manufacturing process and find ways to create down-time through cooperation. scripts are provided. . everyday life and work for investigations into international political economy are themselves stripped of the moments of discovery and creation. Taylorism persists in extreme forms. The control over the labour process is encoded into the machines and buildings themselves and workers are literally interchangeable. It also involves love. for example. Such an objection is correct to the extent that the conceptions of culture. instrumental action. everyday life. 80). which are themselves articulated and connected to extend power exercised at the point of production throughout the social formation and into the state (Harrod 1987). of reflection. workers on an assembly line.aspects of the division of labour – mental/manual. Rather than squeezing the space for creativity out of work. The post-fordist factory was an attempt to address a specific problem in the struggle to control the labour process. the process is quite different. and work examined in this paper must be investigated and analyzed as part of the processes that characterize the place of everyday life in global political economy. for the benefit of the enterprise rather than as a way for the workers to gain control over the labour process.
spiritual and aesthetic development and ordinary. Hardt. represents the possibility for beginning such an analysis. Michael E. The analytical reintegration of culture and political economy can be thought of as part of a political project for the reintegration of creative practice and work. Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. Naeem and David Blaney (2004) International Relations and the Problem of Difference. Ariel and Armand Mattelart (1984) How to Read Donald Duck: Imperialist Ideology in the Disney Comic. London: Routledge. a “thin” notion of culture will not provide the perspective needed to effect this analytical reintegration of culture and political economy. emotive and imaginative practices” become the organizing forces in social relations. this reintegration is not itself a guarantee that the workers become free of the compulsions of the workplace. Production. to emphasize the cultural and political economic dynamics of work and production helps to clarify the power relations that define the social relations of production. In this regard. However. Harrod. (2004) “Everyday Utopianism: Lefebvre and his critics. Manuel (2000) The Rise of the Network Society. du Gay. In contrast. New York and London: Routledge. To the extent that work can become creative practice. Work does not exhaust the concept of everyday life – though work often exhausts the energies of the worker. the fragments of everyday life must be re-socialized such that “love. London: Sage Publications. Jeffrey (1987) Power. 2nd Edition. and Michael Pryke (eds) (2002) Cultural Economy: Cultural Analysis and Commercial Life. Paul. . sensuality. Gardiner. Michael and Antonio Negri (2000) Empire. Oxford: Blackwell. Dorfman. REFERENCES Castells. Inayatullah. habitual ways of life.” the critical analysis of work and production must address the political economic dynamics that drive the ways in which creativity is integrated into work or suppressed or appropriated in production. Cambridge.” Cultural Studies 18 (2/3): 228-254. Gardiner. the body – [the] plethora of creative. as was seen in the discussion of post-fordist methods of organizing production. New York: International General. The conception of culture must be open to the conjunction between the general processes of intellectual. the critique of everyday life – the criticism of banality from the perspective of creativity and the criticism of hierarchy from the perspective of everyday life – is an essential tool in the critique of the global political economy. New York: Columbia University Press. tends to invoke the economic relations of exchange in cultural political economy and therefore to ratify an uncritical perspective on the market and the social division of labour. The one-sided conception of culture also truncates political economic analysis. To focus on the products themselves. To avoid the traps of a “metaphysics of labour.A cultural turn for international political economy. or a cultural political economy. However. It must be open to the creative practices of ordinary people in everyday life. and the Unprotected Worker. then. (2000) Critiques of Everyday Life. Michael E. as in the culturalization thesis. or to focus on the circulation of meanings.
MA and Oxford. 3-18. . Raymond (1989) “Culture is Ordinary”. in Robin Gable. Henri (1991a) Critique of Everyday Life Volume 1: Introduction. (ed. Lefebvre. London: Verso. Raymond (1988) Keywords: A vocabulary of culture and society. Resources of Hope: Culture. Sohn-Rethel. Williams. Schiller. London: Sage Publications. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press: pp. UK: Blackwell. London and Basingstoke: The Macmillan Press. Translated by John Moore. Boston: Beacon Press. Scott and John Urry (1994) Economies of Signs and Space. Larry. Democracy. Lefebvre. Socialism.Lash. Henri (1991b) The Production of Space. Cambridge. (1991) The Work of Nations: Preparing Ourselves for 21st Century Capitalism. and Andrew Sayer (eds) (1999) Culture and Economy: After the Cultural Turn. in Cary Nelson and Lawrence Grossberg (eds) Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture. London: Sage Publications. Alfred (1978) Intellectual and Manual Labour: A critique of epistemology. Robert B. Lefebvre. Williams. London: Fontana Press. Ray.). 75-88. New York: Knopf. London: Verso: pp. Henri (1988) “Toward a Leftist Cultural Politics: Remarks Occasioned by the Centenary of Marx's Death”. Reich. (1971) Mass Communications and American Empire. Translated by Donald NicholsonSmith. Herbert I.
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