Le travail comme expression

Translated title of the contribution: Work as expression

Nicholas H. Smith*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper places Dejours' psychodynamic conception of work in the tradition of philosophical expressivism and it argues for the superiority of the expressivist conception of work over the classical conception of work as poiesis. After a reconstruction of the main elements of the opposition between poiesis (productive action) and praxis (moral action), attention is drawn to the limits of this framework for conceptualising work, and an alternative framework is introduced by way of a consideration of some features of the concept of expression as it is used in ordinary language. This enables us to see what is distinctively 'expressivist' about Dejours' conception of work. With the expressivist provenance of Dejours' theory established, a number of possibilities for understanding the norms of expression are presented, norms that are relevant for the assessment of contemporary organizations of work.

Translated title of the contributionWork as expression
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)67-86
Number of pages20
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Expressivism
  • Productive action
  • Psychodynamics of work
  • The poiesis / praxis distinction


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