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Software Developers and Telemarketers: Two opposites of immaterial labor?

Abstract

For the request of the FAPESP - Regular Aid, I forward a research project that follows previous researches, but now focused on a new specific object: the analysis of the working conditions of software developers and telemarketers of telemarketing centers in Brazil. At first sight, these productive activities would not be conditioned by traditional forms of work organization, typical of the Taylorist-Fordist pattern of accumulation, inasmuch as they would predominantly trigger the intellectuality of their productive agents. Second, they would also differ from Toyotist productive practices, as they would be predominantly based on subjective aspects of the workforce such as creativity and intelligence. Nevertheless, these new forms of immaterial labor still seem, in spite of their differences, to reproduce elements of management and production very similar, on the one hand, to those of the serial and standardized production of Taylorist and Fordist industrialists and, on the other hand, of production of cars of the toyotista system, especially, as far as the forms of stimulus and productive control are concerned. Because of this, we understand that it is necessary to analyze what is new and what is conserved in the relations and conditions of work that have as central characteristic the use of cognition, information, communication, intellectuality and creativity, analyzing to what extent this type of production would be similar to material production. That is to say, it seems to us central to specify to what extent immaterial labor diffuses as productive activity and of services and what are the conditions of work and the forms of precariousness that pass through this type of production in the contemporary Brazilian society. In this sense, what we propose with this research is to analyze, in the current Brazilian conjuncture, the place of the immaterial labor inside the production of merchandise, having as an empirical object of analysis the software developers of "software industries" and the teleoperators of central of telemarketing. To this end, we will emphasize three dimensions of these activities: 1. The objective conditions of work; 2. The forms of precariousness of immaterial labor that can reach these two different collectives of work; establishing, finally, 3. Approaches and distances between them as regards their working and living conditions. (AU)

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