Basic Needs and the Division of Labour

Author: Guy Standing
Publication Year : 1980

In the basic needs literature remarkably little critical attention has been devoted to the role of labour. In this paper the prevailing dominant approach to the notion of basic needs and the basic needs ‘strategy’ of development is criticised, primarily for neglecting human labour as a central, integrating life activity. It is argued that two alternative ‘visions’ of development exist which imply different perspectives on ’employment’. The paper then considers what should be the crucial elements in the nature and division of labour for a humanistic strategy of development, and concludes by proposing a reorientation of employment data collection.

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