Our Consciousness and Theirs

Further Thoughts on the Class Character of University Worker Activism

Aimée Lê and Jordan Osserman

Viewpoint Magazine

In a recent editorial in Radical Philosophy we explored ongoing debates around the class character of professional work, and the prospects of casualized (/adjunctified, or otherwise insecurely employed) university worker activism. We endorsed Gabriel Winant’s view that professional workers are part of the working class. However, we received the criticism that to describe, as Winant does, the “professional-managerial-class [PMC]” as a “class fraction” within the working class still treats this group of professional workers as a more distinctive and coherent category than it really is. To cut against this, we may observe an increasing similarity between so-called professional work and other forms of work, as part of capitalism’s ongoing processes of deskilling; for example, the BetterHelp app recruits licensed, professional therapists to perform duties similar to live chat customer service agents…

8 Jan 2022