Labor geography is a vibrant, variegated subdiscipline, but there are also concerns over its lack of theoretical coherence. In this paper, I examine Open Marxist approaches that engage with post-structuralism and feminism based on Marx's concepts of abstract and concrete labor to frame a review of recent labor geography and related contributions on (a) social reproduction, difference, and class; (b) work, technology and precarity; and (c) labor's agency. I make three main arguments. First, while many conceptual tools for the analysis of social reproduction and difference exist within Marxism, because of their engagement with feminism and post-structuralism, these are being more fully developed. Second, Open Marxist contributions to this dialogue require greater emphasis upon the dialectical relationship between concrete, non-wage workers struggles against abstract labor and wage worker struggles of abstract labor within the totality of capitalism. Third, while important engagements are ongoing between Marxism, post-structuralism and feminism greater integration is neither needed nor desirable precisely because of Marxism's unique combination of conceptual coherence and open-endedness, which means that this interaction is a source of its theoretical development.
- engaged pluralism
- Labor geography
- Open Marxism
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development