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The Idea of Labour Law$
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Guy Davidov and Brian Langille

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199693610

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693610.001.0001

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Labour as a ‘Fictive Commodity’: Radically Reconceptualizing Labour Law

Labour as a ‘Fictive Commodity’: Radically Reconceptualizing Labour Law

Chapter:
(p.120) 8 Labour as a ‘Fictive Commodity’: Radically Reconceptualizing Labour Law
Source:
The Idea of Labour Law
Author(s):

Judy Fudge

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693610.003.0009

This chapter begins by recontextualizing and re-interpreting the dominant story of labour law in order to offer a different account, one that treats labour as a ‘fictive commodity’. After historicizing labour law's narrative, the chapter reviews one of the major contemporary contenders to replace it, an account that sees the function of labour law as regulating the labour market. Using this account as a jumping-off point, this chapter develops a reinvigorated conceptual and normative account of labour law, which draw's upon Amaryta Sen's conception of capabilities and Elizabeth Anderson's idea of democratic equality. The ‘new’ account of labour law proposed herein is attentive to feminist concerns about socially necessary, but unpaid, work.

Keywords:   labour, work, fictive commodity, capabilities, equality, unpaid work, feminism

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