The International Research Center IGK


The IGK conducts fundamental research on the subject of work with a dual focus on the concept and the performance of work. Although the end of the work society is occasionally proclaimed in western industrial societies, a look at their societies already shows that such a point of view is based on a very restricted definition of work as gainful, wage labor. A trans-cultural perspective and definitions of the concept of work that go beyond purely instrumental descriptions serve to confirm the consistently high social, cultural and economic value of work and the diversity of possible categories by which to approach the subject. The IGK investigates from a comparative, interdisciplinary perspective how at different times different societies throughout the world have filled the term work with meaning, and how different concepts of work have each been connected with respective expressions of the actual performance of work. A central aspect of the IGK is the conceptual discourse on what can meaningfully be meant by work and all that is incorporated in the concept. These basics must be clarified before any sound statements with respect to history, social theory, and a diagnosis of the present can be made. Also, the IGK uses a consistently global and chronologically far-reaching perspective to elucidate how diverse industrial and non-industrial, capitalist and pre-capitalist realities were and continue to be.
The IGK conducts fundamental research on the subject of work with a dual focus on the concept and the performance of work. Although the end of the work society is occasionally proclaimed in western industrial societies, a look at their societies already shows that such a point of view is based on a very restricted definition of work as gainful, wage labor. A trans-cultural perspective and definitions of the concept of work that go beyond purely instrumental descriptions serve to confirm the consistently high social, cultural and economic value of work and the diversity of possible categories by which to approach the subject. The IGK investigates from a comparative, interdisciplinary perspective how at different times different societies throughout the world have filled the term work with meaning, and how different concepts of work have each been connected with respective expressions of the actual performance of work. A central aspect of the IGK is the conceptual discourse on what can meaningfully be meant by work and all that is incorporated in the concept. These basics must be clarified before any sound statements with respect to history, social theory, and a diagnosis of the present can be made. Also, the IGK uses a consistently global and chronologically far-reaching perspective to elucidate how diverse industrial and non-industrial, capitalist and pre-capitalist realities were and continue to be.


Principal investigators
Eckert, Andreas Prof. Dr. phil. (Details) (African History)

Duration of project
Start date: 07/2009
End date: 06/2015

Last updated on 2022-08-09 at 21:06