Present discussions about the concept of work have not always clearly established some of the central tenets that this concept acquired within the tradition of critical social theory, which begins with Marx. This tradition has often emphasized the relationship between work and human emancipation. Following this direction, this paper adds three conceptual dichotomies to the more traditional one of work "valuation vs. disdain": wide vs. reduced concept of work, productivism vs. antiproductivism, and normative centrality vs. non-centrality of work. From this standpoint, the paper criticizes some commonplaces about Marx's concept of work, and lists some ways in which the later Marxist traditions have develop this concept. Habermas' concept of work is more specifically analyzed and criticized in the last part of the paper. © Martin Média.
- Critical theory
- Social theory