How the Automation of Knowledge Changes Skilled Work

  • Mercedes Bunz


This chapter contributes to sociology of labour by analysing knowledge work and the role of an expert in the digital era. For this, it critically discusses two assumptions: (1) The confusion of technology with capitalism: Looking at statistic developments as well as into political discussions of labour by Negri, Žižek, or Berardi, it finds that technology gets often blamed for capitalistic exploitation. However, as the chapter shows capitalistic logic is not identical with the machines. (2) The definition of technology as secondary knowledge: Philosophical concepts of technology often understood it as practical knowledge, which puts it in a derivative and inferior position. Against understanding technical knowledge in opposition to cultural knowledge, the French philosopher Gilbert Simondon defines it in continuation. Taking up his perspective, the relation of technology and knowledge can be approached anew as ‘knowing with’: the expert thinks together with the machines; the machines exceed the capitalistic logic.


Sociology of labour digital labour skilled labour expert capitalism exploitation ‘philosophy of technology’ ‘technology and knowledge’ ‘knowing with’ Gilbert Simondon 


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Copyright information

© Mercedes Bunz 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mercedes Bunz
    • 1
  1. 1.Leuphana UniversityGermany

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