chapter  27A
6 Pages

Essay Forum: Labor in Financialization

Value Logics and Labor: Collateral Damage or Central Focus?
WithPaul Thompson, Jean Cushen

The common themes chart how a financialized trajectory of accumulation destabilizes labor across various dimensions of production and reproduction. For capital and corporate executives, the terms and conditions under which labor is provided within industrial and productive circuits have become negotiable absorbers of risk; labor is a source from which value can be routinely extracted to heighten gains and mitigate losses within the financial circuit. The deregulation of labor markets, whilst not only attributable to financialization, is apparent across a range of OECD countries and shows capital has reasserted its power over organized labor and labor markets in the US, UK and Western Europe. The erosion of state protections and the social wage in many contexts may be a factor in labor seeking financial stability outside the workplace, prompting explorations of the financialization of the household and everyday life. Taken as a whole, new research has challenged mainstream financialization scholarship to make better connections to varieties of labor.