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That obstinate yet elastic natural barrier : work and the figure of man in capitalism
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Warwick MulesWarwick Mules
It used to be the case that for the mass of workers, work was something that was done in order to get by. A working class was simply the sum total of all those workers and their dependents whose wages paid for the necessities of live, providing the bare minimum for family reproduction to secure a place and a lineage within the social order. However, work has now become something else. Work has become the privileged sighn of a new kind of class, whose existence is guaranteed not so much by work, but by the very fact of holding a job. Society no longer divides itself between a ruling elite and a subordinated working class, but between a job-holding, job-aspiring class, and those excluded from holding a job; those unable, by virtue of age, informity, education, gender, race or demographics, to participate in the rewards of work. Today, these rewards are not only a regular salary and job satisfaction (the traditional consolations of the working class), but also a certain capacity to plan ahead, to gain contron of one's destiny through saving and investment, and to enjoy the pleasures of consumption through the fulfilment of self-images.