Original Research

Dignity and work: global market and self-sustenance

J.J. (Ponti) Venter
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 3, No 1 | a315 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v3i1.315 | © 2007 J.J. (Ponti) Venter | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 March 2016 | Published: 11 April 2007

About the author(s)

J.J. (Ponti) Venter, Potchefstroom campus of North-West University, South Africa

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It is argued here that market fundamentalistic theories ignore the issue of human agency in work, and the different types of work, because – focussing on the market mechanism, supply, demand, and price - they have lost track of that which economic activities (work) are intended for, namely self-sustenance. They have also minimised human agency in the economic theory, and therefore the understanding of being-human is lost from both economic theory and practice. Thus they cannot explicate the role of work for the individual and the community – namely care for self and others – the significance quality work as part of human dignity is forgotten. I am arguing for a restoring of meaningful self-sustenance as the norm for work, and the recognition of the dignifying role of such self-sustenance – both for the community and the individual.


Human dignity, global market, capitalism, labour, competitiveness, socuiety, morality, human agency amd selfsustenance


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