From precarious work to obsolete labour? Implications of technological disemployment for geographical scholarship

Joseph Pierce, Mary Lawhon*, Tyler McCreary

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The displacement of jobs via mechanization and automation has long been understood as uncomfortable for labourers but also an intrinsic part of a process of ‘creative destruction’ leading to further growth in capitalist economies. This article argues that a seismic shift is currently underway in the dynamics of the labour market with regard to automation. Technologies of automation are capable of a rapidly rising proportion of all of the tasks that capital is willing to pay for and that humans are capable of doing. We highlight the geographically differentiated implications of this ongoing transition, and emphasize that geographers are importantly situated to analyse the political and economic implications of what is likely the start of a radical restructuring of the relationships between labouring, resource distribution, and indeed human ethics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-101
Number of pages18
JournalGeografiska Annaler, Series B: Human Geography
Volume101
Issue number2
Early online date14 Dec 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Automation
  • disemployment
  • obsolescence of labour
  • uneven development

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