#TNTW (The Need To Work, September 03, 2016):

Do you have others working for you? Is the need to work a curse? Or, is work life? Does work establish the relationship between the ‘body’ and nature, economy & society? Do we realize and socialize ourselves via work? Are work and leisure complementary (but only when work is socially configured)? What is leisure for the self employed? How & why is much of production ancillarized? Why are most jobs made idiot-proof? Is a life with only short-term flexible jobs meaningless? Can we, then, have an automatic society (where there is no need to work)? Was the labour in the 19th century more specialized than now? Also, is labour today recruited in a manner very different from (say) in the 19th century? Is much of work always defined by the demands of (mutable) capital? However, is capital neutral to how work is organized? What impact does this then have on personhood and morality? Should survival be contingent on the ability to work? Why is there a collapse globally of the working class? What is the future of jobs, and does this depend on the interrelationship between society and economy? How might (the non-economic) social labour be configured? &, might society be conceptualized as a factory? SynTalk thinks about these & more questions using concepts from critical theory (Prof. Ranabir Samaddar, Calcutta Research Group, Kolkata), & social anthropology (Prof. A. R. Vasavi, ex-NIAS, Bangalore).

Listen in….

SynTalk is pleased and privileged to have hosted the following SynTalkrs (in alphabetical order) on its #TNTW show.

Prof. Ranabir Samaddar (critical theory, migration studies) is currently the Distinguished Chair in Migration and Forced Migration Studies, Calcutta Research Group, Kolkata. He belongs to the critical school of thinking. He completed his B.A., M.A. & Ph.D. in Political Science from Calcutta University. Before joining Calcutta Research Group, he has worked at Peace Studies Programme, South Asia Forum for Human Rights (Kathmandu), & Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies (Kolkata). Prof. Samaddar has worked extensively on issues of migration and forced migration, the theory and practices of dialogue, nationalism and post-colonial statehood in South Asia, and new regimes of technological restructuring and labour control. In his book ‘The Politics of Dialogue’ (2004), a culmination of his long work on justice, rights, and peace, he discusses the creation and impact of borders and the pervasive tension between the new nations of post –colonial South Asia. His recent political writings published in the form of a two-volume account, ‘The Materiality of Politics’ (2007), and ‘The Emergence of the Political Subject’ (2009) challenge some of the prevailing accounts of the birth of nationalism and the nation-state. His co-authored work on new town and new forms of accumulation ‘Beyond Kolkata: Rajarhat and the Dystopia of Urban Imagination’ (Routledge, 2013) is centered around urban studies in the context of post-colonial capitalism.

Prof. A. R. Vasavi (social anthropology) is based in Bangalore. She received her M.A. from the Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics, and her Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from Michigan State University (USA). Her academic interests are in sociology of India, agrarian studies, and sociology of education, and she has also conducted field research in various parts of India. She has been with the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bangalore (1997 to 2011), at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi (as a Senior Fellow), and at the Max Planck Institute for Diversity and Religion at Gottingen, Germany (as a Visiting Fellow). Prof. Vasavi currently pursues her own research and also runs Punarchith, an organization for alternative learning she helped set up in Chamarajanagar district, Karnataka. Her publications include, ‘Harbingers of Rain: Land and Life in South India’ (OUP, 1999), ‘In an Outpost of the Global Economy’ (co-edited with Carol Upadhya, Routledge, 2008), and ‘The Inner Mirror: Translations of Kannada Writings on Society and Culture’ (The Book Review Press, 2009), which is also available in Kannada as ‘VollaGannadi: Samakalina Samaja Mathu Samskruthi Kurita Kannada Barahaghalu’. Her most recent book is ‘Suicides and the Predicament of Rural India’ (Three Essays Collective, 2012). Kannada University, Hampi, has brought out a collection of her writings which have been translated into Kannada. Prof. Vasavi is also a recipient of the Infosys Prize for Social Sciences (2013).

Note: Any & all errors in the brief profiles above are SynTalk’s own.

#TNTW mentionsThorstein Veblen, Harry Braverman, Richard Sennett, Manuel Castells, Karl Polanyi, & Jan Breman, among others.