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Three Scenarios of the Future of Work: Technological Unemployment, Compensation, Hollowing Out
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Sociology and Technoscience; Vol 9 No 2 (2019): New technological challenges: Robotics, big data and other tecnologies. pags. 140-154
This study compares the dominant narratives on the future of work. It shows that a paradigm shift is underway in the context of scenario analysis, as a consequence of the impetuous development of robotic and computer technologies. Near the two main traditions of thought, which respectively emphasize ‘technological unemployment’ and ‘compensation,’ a third vision of the future is emerging that examines trends and scenarios ignored by traditional economic theories. This third narrative places particular emphasis on the ‘hollowing out’ phenomenon. It states that automation will not cause the complete disappearance of work, but only of the average qualified one. In other words, in the absence of corrective interventions, the society of the future will be characterized by the presence of a minority of privileged citizens, who will be able to fully enjoy the fruits of automation, surrounded by a majority of citizens engaged in precarious and degrading jobs. This study shows that the third narrative is only relatively new. Socio-technical expectations went full circle, reviving a prognosis already present in Karl Marx’s works.
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