What does Cognitariat Mean? Work, Desire and Depression

Franco Berardi


Abstract

In order to understand the meaning of the notions of cognitive labour and cognitariat, it is necessary to analyse not only the transformations that have taken place in the work process but also what is happening in the psychic and desiring dimension of post-industrial society. What is at stake in the social definition of cognitive labour is the body, sexuality, perishable physicality and the unconscious. Cognitariat is the social corporeality of cognitive labour. But the social existence of cognitive workers cannot be reduced to intelligence: in their existential concreteness, the cognitarians are also body, in other words nerves that stiffen in the constant strain of attention, eyes that get tired staring at a screen. Collective intelligence neither reduces nor resolves the social existence of the bodies that produce this intelligence, the concrete bodies of the male and female cognitarians.

Keywords

cognitive labour; cognitariat; post-industrialist; society; body; intelligence

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