Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

Labour as a ‘fictive commodity’: Radically reconceptualizing labour law

Document type Book chapter
Author Fudge, Judy
Editor Langille, Brian
Editor Davidov, Guy
Book None
Publisher Oxford University Press; Oxford
Date 2013
Pages 120-136


[E]xamines...some competing accounts of labour law, including ones that rely on Sen's idea of enhancing people's 'capabilities' to live the kinds of lives that they value. [The author] sees a number os trengths with this approach, but also a few important limitations. [Fudge] then goes on to suggest a different basis for conceptualizing labour law: the idea that labour is not a commodity but rather a 'fictive commodity'. The unique problems association with seeling labour create 'regulatory dilemmas' - and the role of labour law is to addrss them. In this context, Fudge uses the 'capabilities' approach but supplements it to argue against the exclusion of unpaid care work from the scope of labour law. --From editors' introduction.