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  • Alienation and Work: ICT Professionals

    Mike Healy

    Chapter from the book: Healy, M. 2020. Marx and Digital Machines: Alienation, Technology, Capitalism.


    This chapter surveys the effectiveness of Marx’s theory of alienation by examining the experiences of ICT professionals within the workplace. This chapter studies whether Marx’s theory helps in creating the conditions to enable ICT professionals to articulate their working lives as they see them, within the general trends of the sector, and to theorise their experiences. The author first describes the participants of his setting, before going on to consider the meaning of professionalism for them. Next, the chapter examines previous and existing research into ICT professionals, defining the key characteristics that shape the ICT industry. It then takes this overarching environment and applies it to the ICT professionals who took part in his own research presenting a distillation of their verbatim views about their own work and experiences touching on practices such as work process engineering, ‘benching’, ‘body shopping’ and how management of their labour functions. The author concludes that the power structures within which ICT professionals work shapes the products they produce, further emphasising that technology and its development are primarily advancing the interests of capital contributing to professionals’ expressions and experiences of alienation.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Healy, M. 2020. Alienation and Work: ICT Professionals. In: Healy, M, Marx and Digital Machines. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book47.d

    This chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivatives 4.0 license. Copyright is retained by the author(s)

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    Additional Information

    Published on Oct. 16, 2020