The Future of Work and Employment
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The Future of Work and Employment

Edited by Adrian Wilkinson and Michael Barry

This cutting-edge book charts the latest ideas and concepts in employment relations research. Mapping out the intellectual boundaries of the field, The Future of Work and Employment outlines the key research and policy outcomes for work and employment in the age of digitisation and artificial intelligence.
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Chapter 9: Biotechnological change and its implications

David Peetz and Georgina Murray

Abstract

Research into the future of work needs to encompass biotechnological change, including what happens when technology is embedded within humans, and how that relates to social structures and forces. Most jobs will likely be affected. Cyborg work also changes some key aspects of the reproduction of classes, and of class relations, with particular implications for control. We consider the implications of technology becoming a characteristic of individuals themselves, and of the likely sequencing of access. Research also needs to ask: what is to be done? The march towards cyborg technology is not inherently bad, with potentially major benefits for some. But it poses one of the greatest challenges society will have faced since the emergence of capitalism. The traditional way of responding to policy questions in the world of work—wait till a problem is very evident, argue about it for a long time, and then do something—will not succeed.

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