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Labor and Monopoly Capital for the 1990s: A Review and Critique of the Labor Process Debate

Peter Meiksins


The publication of Harry Braverman's Labor and Monopoly Capital in 1974 was without question one of the most important intellectual events of the past twenty years. On the left, Braverman's book quickly established itself as obligatory reading and has become one of the most frequently cited contemporary works of Marxist scholarship (rivalled only, perhaps, by E.P. Thompson's The Making of the English Working Class). Moreover, Labor and Monopoly Capital quickly "crossed over" into the academic world, renewing interest in the history and sociology of the workplace and setting the agenda for a whole generation of historians and sociologists of work. Braverman initiated what has come to be known as "the labor process debate," thereby refocusing the study of the workplace on issues such as the nature of skill and the apparent decline of skilled labor, managerial strategies for controlling workers, and the extent and nature of worker resistance to those strategies.



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