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On “the Concrete”: Labour, Difference and Method

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Michael Ekers, Alex Loftus

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-100
Number of pages23
Issue number1
Published1 Jan 2020

King's Authors


This paper develops a genealogy of concrete labour, paying particular attention to debates within marxist, feminist-marxist and Black feminist writings. Our argument pivots around the dual character of (re)productive activities and an argument that the concrete is both an “aspect” of labour and the concentration of many different relations. We begin with a critique of the false universalisms in certain invocations of the concrete, noting how the far right has mobilised this “false concrete” in the figure of the people. Teasing out long-standing debates over the dual character of labour enables us instead to better understand the social differentiation within concrete lived activity. Through discussing the internal relations that constitute the concrete as labour and method we propose a critical strategy that challenges false universalisms, provides a way to understand relationally defined positionalities, and that is also a place from which to struggle and organise.

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