Arbeitsverhältnisse und Gesundheitszerstörung der Arbeitenden. Eine Forschungsskizze am Beispiel der Entwicklung in Deutschland seit 1970

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The destruction of workers’ health was part of the calculus of Taylorist work organisation. The ‘humanisation of working life’ envisaged during the early 1970s was explicitly intended as a break with Taylorism. However, attempts to impinge upon the economic and ideological dominance of capital proved unsuccessful. Since then, there has developed a tendency for workers to neglect their health and well-being even in the absence of classic Taylorist hierarchies – a tendency euphemistically described, in academic discourse, as the ‘subjectivation of work.’ The resulting work-induced psychic disorders have been appositely described in terms of a ‘corrosion of character’ (Richard Sennett). The present realities of working life call for a health-oriented ‘labour politics from below’ capable of freeing workers from the grip of neoliberal working conditions.
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