Article i 'Tidsskrift for arbejdsliv' no. 4 1999, page 9-26.
English resume

Work and sense of art

Birger Steen Nielsen og Kurt Aagaard Nielsen

The authors argue that theories of work and learning have lost their critical strength in the last decade. The scientific public within the field stick to ideas which aim towards consensus within organisations: today’s new concepts of production already give us the tools to practice qualified work and to develop workers into qualified participants in the future organisational reality. Those ideas are wrong and naive. They hide the fact that the modern trends in organisations reproduce what Braverman called the degradation of work.

An alternative to the present theories of consensus is found in a reconstruction of Marx’s analysis of the so-called "narrow minded sense of art in handicraft". In a reconstruction of the concept found in The German Ideology, the authors argue that work in modern capitalist reality are liberated compared with the handicraftsmen in the feudal system. Liberated workers, however, never got the chance to realize an element of art in work. On the contrary, the sense of art which potentially connects to work disappears - it is expropriated from the workers - not only in the early manufacturing period, but continually throughout the process towards automation.

In the last part of the article the authors try to design conditions and tools which are useful for a reinstallation of a sense of art in relation to work.

Tidsskrift for arbejdsliv

(Journal for Working Life)




  All titles


site map:
book reviews
bibliography auth. A-D
bibliography auth. E-H
bibliography auth. I-L
bibliography auth. M-P
bibliography auth. Q-T
bibliography auth. U-Ö

in Danish frontpage Nyt om arbejdsliv
editor Jørgen Burchardt