ABSTRACT: What does racism mean and how does racism work in contemporary capitalism? Or, which new and unique articulations are today assumed by racialization and congnitization of work? Trying to answer these questions means to deeply investigate both capitalist valorization and the processes through which the labor market is organized. Moreover, it brings to the fore the production of hier- archies and forms of subordination which cross and structure relations of production as well as social relationships. Today the lines of fracture and segmentation across living labor have redefined their coordinates: both the idea of so-called immaterial labor – prerogative of a white middle-class, predominantly male and well-paid – and the idea of so-called material labor – low wage and low skill, prerogative of the racialized work force – have ceased to be dominant images, although along the color line persist heavy hierarchies and forms of discrimination. It is the very notion of skill that makes no longer any sense when precarity becomes a structural datum of contemporary capitalism and when the boundaries between production and reproduction become thinner and thinner, until they disappear altogether. By investigating the dynamics across the Italian labor market in a time of crisis, the paper proposes an articulation of the concepts of race and knoweledge as an analytical grid to rethink the categories through which we have so far read and interepreted both labor and its transformations. pp. 127–141

Keywords: racialization; cognitization of labor; precarity

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University of Bologna

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