The Economy Politics of Robotization and Digitization: The Myth of Indusrty 4.0

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 16:30
Oral Presentation
Industry 4.0 as a brand new concept has been discussed in different milieus effecting the world of labour for seven years. Especially, the employer associations claim that the digital and the robotic technologies have the capacity to transform the working relations and production patterns within the scope of the concept of Industry 4.0. The rooted companies of the mode of capitalist production are racing each other to take a leading position in order to benefit from the prospective outcomes of the concept of Industry 4.0.

Industry 4.0 as a concept containing different sub-components in itself deserves to be analysed by the researchers who are interested in the sociology of work and the recent developments in the world of labour. Since the concept of Industry 4.0 can cause a new destructive gale of unemployment and more deregulated labour market, it should be taken into account by the labour sociologists. So, the EU institutions, the labour organisations such as the ITUC, the ETUC etc. contribute to the concept as well. The claim that the ICT based production processes have become more crystalized for forty years and that they are distinguished from the previous technological developments are two focal discussion topics revolving around the concept. Particularly the question such as “Can the robots appropriate the jobs of mankind?” and the other fundamental ones regarding the working principles of working life are raised within the concept of Industry 4.0. Following the beginning of the practices categorized under the concept of Industry 4.0, the job opportunities will be limited in labour market.

This paper will analyse the concept of Industry 4.0 with a critical perspective. Following the brief information about the general framework of the concept, its prospective outcomes will be assessed in term of the world of labour and organized labour movement.