Workers’ inquiry is an approach to and practice of knowledge production that seeks to understand the changing composition of labor and its potential for revolutionary social transformation. It is the practice of turning the tools of the social sciences into weapons of class struggle. Workers’ inquiry seeks to map the continuing imposition of the class relation, not as a disinterested investigation, but rather to deepen and intensify... more
There are a number of debates that if one has the good fortune of living long enough you will find yourself getting periodically sucked back into regardless of whether you want to or not: is this particular form of social practice really art? Who’s the best footballer, Messi or Ronaldo? These debates likely will never be resolved. Therein lies much frustration for those who think the purpose of a debate is to come to a resolution.
I will firstly point out five issues that could enlighten, in a stenographic way, the genealogy and meaning of co-research, its political peculiarity, and the how it is different from workers’ inquiry.
Rethinking the strike, bet on generalization. Here is what we learned from a cycle of struggles in the field of retail logistics in Italy, and specifically warehouse workers at cooperatives managing and organizing the sorting and transport of goods for major brands such as IKEA, the national Coop and for large-scale distribution companies such as TNT Global Express and SDA Express Courier.
The role and function of theory in the relationship between class and capital, as well as the position of inquiry as knowledge production and political intervention in the face of basic contradictions of capitalist society, are expressed – perhaps most clearly – in a lecture given by Raniero Panzieri in 1964. On that occasion Panzieri’s contribution both helped to define the instruments of sociological survey and the theoretical, methodological and political issues subtended by the use of workers’ inquiry.