PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology


Proletarianization of scientists?

Roli Varma   Department of Science and Technology Studies, Renesselear Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, USA

Social scientists working in the Marxist tradition have tried to locate the position of professionals in the class structure under condition of monopoly capitalism. While traditional Marxists treat professionals as a working class, neo-Marxists regard them as a new class. In a study of 47 industrial scientists, it was found that they do not carry out research by themselves; they do it with other scientists under managerial supervision and control. Still, they distinguish themselves from other workers on the grounds of possessing highly specialized knowledge, internal motivation, creativity, autonomy, and high salary. Interviews with scientists indicated that internal differentiations among themselves is an obstacle to any unified class consciousness.

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