The subject matter of this paper is the phenomenon of work intensity in its conceptual and methodological practices. Recent research made in several countries show that intensification of work is a structuring component in contemporary society and that such tendency may extend for undetermined time under the neoliberal paradigm of hegemony of contemporary world economic relations. The same consensus does not prevail in conceptual definitions of the phenomenon, its theoretical assumptions and methodological implications. An analysis of such lack of consensus is the main goal of this paper. A literature review since the labor theory of value until contemporary research is undertaken. The conceptual and methodological is made regarding the European Working Condition Surveys, whose questionnaire and reports are analyzed about subjectivity and objectivity and the relations of the empirical practices with conceptual definitions. This essay of conceptual and methodological critique aims at contributing with the formulation of parameters that may contribute with the making of necessary researches regarding the Brazilian context, given the implications of the labor intensification process on health conditions of the working people.
labor theory of value; work intensity; concepts; methodology