Productive and unproductive labour and social form: Putting class struggle in its place

Alexis B. Moraitis, Jack Copley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


The categories of productive and unproductive labour have been a source of contention among Marxist scholars since Marx first committed them to paper. This article will offer a critique of both the orthodox and autonomist approaches to this issue, arguing that they constitute transhistorical and analytically inadequate interpretations. In contrast, a social form approach to productive and unproductive labour provides a substantive definition of these categories in relation to the commodity form, and brings class struggle back to the forefront in a theoretically consistent manner.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-114
Number of pages24
JournalCapital and Class
Issue number1
Early online date30 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017


  • class struggle, Open Marxism, productive and unproductive labour, social form, value theory


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