Labour and the Wage: A Critical Perspective

ISBN : 9780198858898

Zoe Adams
304 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Mar 2020
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Labour and the Wage: A Critical Perspective offers a new perspective on why labour law struggles to respond to problems such as low pay and under-inclusive employment. A Marxian-inspired ontological approach sheds new light on the role of labour law in a capitalist economy and on the limitations and potential of labour law when it comes to bringing about social change. It illustrates this through the lens of the wage.

The book develops a legal genealogy that explores the shifting portfolio of concepts through which the wage has been conceptualized in legal discourse as capitalism has developed. This exploration spans from the Norman Conquest to the present day, and covers diverse issues such as the decasualization of the docks, sweated labour, the truck system, tax-credits, tips, and minimum wages.

Labour and the Wage provides one of the most in-depth and comprehensive analyses of the wage to date, while, at the same time, shedding new light on the contradictory role, or function, of labour law in the context of capitalism.



1 An Ontology of Capitalism

2 Legal Form

3 The Wage

4 The Emergence of the Wage

5 Wages, Salary and Remuneration - Towards a Social Wage

6 The (Return of the) 'Market Wage'

7 The Statutory Minimum Wage

8 Mutuality of Obligation and the Social Wage

9 Conclusion


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About the author: 

Zoe Adams has a BA from Pembroke College, Cambridge, an LLM from the European University Institute in Florence, and a PhD from Pembroke College Cambridge. Her academic interests lie primarily in the realm of labour law, legal theory, legal methodology, social ontology, and law and economics. She is a Junior Research Fellow at King's College Cambridge, and an Affiliated Lecturer in Law at the University of Cambridge. She teaches tort law, labour law, and law and economics.

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