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Work, employment and society through the lens of moral economy

Bolton SC & Laaser K (2013) Work, employment and society through the lens of moral economy. Work, Employment and Society, 27 (3), pp. 508-525.

In this article a moral economy approach is proposed that is informed by Karl Polanyi and E. P. Thompson, who capture the ubiquitous tension between a stable, moral and human society and the economic practices of self-regulating markets, and by Andrew Sayer's consideration of lay morality. Moral economy is an analytical framework that gives voice to critical concerns for the workings of an increasingly disconnected capitalism, its inherent tendencies to treat labour as a ‘fictitious commodity' and the impact this has on the well-being of individuals and wider society. Hence, at the heart of the approach suggested here is a normative understanding of mutual reciprocality and embedded sociality that raises questions about how to support the human capacity to flourish.

human flourishing; labour process theory; lay morality; markets; moral economy; work; Work Social aspects; Work Moral and ethical aspects

Work, Employment and Society: Volume 27, Issue 3

Author(s)Bolton, Sharon C; Laaser, Knut
Publication date30/06/2013
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