The SAGE Handbook of Frankfurt School Critical Theory expounds the development of critical theory from its founding thinkers to its contemporary formulations in an interdisciplinary setting. It maps the terrain of a critical social theory, expounding its distinctive character vis-a-vis alternative theoretical perspectives, exploring its theoretical foundations and developments, conceptualising its subject matters both past and present, and signalling its possible future in a time of great uncertainty. Taking a distinctively theoretical, interdisciplinary, international and contemporary perspective on the topic, this wide-ranging collection of chapters is arranged thematically over three volumes: Volume I: Key Texts and Contributions to a Critical Theory of Society Volume II: Themes Volume III: Contexts This Handbook is essential reading for scholars and students in the field, showcasing the scholarly rigor, intellectual acuteness and negative force of critical social theory, past and present.

Subsumption and Crisis

Subsumption and Crisis

Subsumption and Crisis
Joshua Clover

Though it has various senses in general usage, subsumption is a term of art within Marx’s critical political economy.1 It is subdivided into formal subsumption and real subsumption. These designate changes to the production process during the transition to, and ongoing development of, capitalism. These changes in aggregate may be understood as the metamorphosis of human making into capitalist labor, in the sense of work conditioned and ceaselessly transformed by the compulsion to extract surplus value, capital’s ‘invisible essence’. As such they also produce and transform the capitalist class relation.

The consequences of this ongoing transformation are various and central to Marx’s systematic and historical account. They include changes in the experience of work for ...

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