The workers’ inquiry from Trotskyism to Operaismo: A political methodology for investigating the workplace

Woodcock, Jamie (2014). The workers’ inquiry from Trotskyism to Operaismo: A political methodology for investigating the workplace. Ephemera: theory & politics in organizations, 14(3) pp. 493–513.

URL: http://www.ephemerajournal.org/contribution/worker...

Abstract

This article discusses different approaches to conducting a workers’ inquiry. Although there is a certain level of ambiguity in the term, it is taken to mean a method for investigating the workplace from the point of view of the worker. The article aims to examine the methodological concerns involved with conducting a contemporary inquiry and to consider the different debates that have emerged from its use. It examines a particular set of examples from Marx, the breaks from orthodox Trotskyism with the Johnson-Forest Tendency and Socialisme ou Barbarie, and early phase of Operaismo or Italian Workerism. It is intended as a specific intervention that aims to understand what can be learned from an unorthodox Trotskyist interpretation of a workers’ inquiry and how this moment can provide an inspiration for the rethinking and reapplication of Marxism, both in terms of theory and practice, to the changing world.

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