Reconceptualising Solidarity in the Social Factory: Cultural Work between Economic Needs and Political Desires

Anke Strauß, Alexander Fleischmann

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


This article reconceptualises work-based solidarity as political action that is distinct from, yet interlinked with, a socio-economic mode of activity. To extend existing relational approaches to work, this article reads a case study of a cultural initiative through Hannah Arendt’s notions of labour, work and (political) action. With the latter being a form of engagement marked by plurality – the co-presence of equality and difference – the analysis shows how work-based solidarity as political activity is a temporary and precarious phenomenon. It necessitates constant engagement of various material and discursive elements to create its conditions. This article also shows how work-based solidarity is enabled through particular arrangements of activities stretching over both the socio-economic and the political sphere in a way that maintains the political mode of work distinct from socio-economic reasoning without ignoring its economic necessities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109 - 125
JournalWork, Employment and Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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