Time, the work ethic and social justice in social production - the case of community based food and energy production in Scotland

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


How will society frame its relations to work in a ‘post-capitalist’ mode of production? Recent crises - such as the financial crisis, austerity economics and the climate crisis - have increasingly led researchers, academics and activists to advocate alternative approaches to managing the economy and to consider ‘post-capitalist’ alternatives. Post-work arguments tend to emphasise embracing technology and automation in order to recast our relationship with employment (e.g., Srnicek and Williams, 2015). Yet these accounts often downplay the necessary forms of social reproductive labour required to maintain society and the social inequalities embedded within people’s relationship with work and time. Our argument is that access to resources goes beyond very material relations and hence includes questioning existing ideas of good work and social justice within communities.

This paper seeks to critically debate how we can understand time, the work ethic and the possibilities of social justice within the context of alternative social forms of production. This paper presents initial findings from this ongoing research into work within social economies based around community energy and food production in Scotland. These communities are especially attuned to time - in terms of work-life balance, daylight and seasonality - based on the specificities of their work and could provide a model for understanding future modes of production. This paper seeks to understand, through researching existing social economies, who will have time in a ‘post-work’ society and what will our relationship be with work in future modes of production.
Period24 Apr 201926 Apr 2019
Event titleBSA Annual Conference 2019: Challenging Social Hierarchies and Inequalities.
Event typeConference
LocationGlasgow, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational