The Problem with Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics, and Postwork Imaginaries. Kathi Weeks; Durham: Duke University Press, 2011, 304 pp., $23.95 ISBN 978-0-8003-5112-2
“Why do we work so long and so hard?” Professor Weeks opens this important and powerful book with questions about work that are not much addressed in political science or in mainstream economics. And she goes on to note that “. . . the fact that at present one must work to ‘earn aliving’ is taken as part of the natural order rather than a social convention” (3)…
Weeks has a gift for summarizing political choices as aphorisms. In considering a politics of work as distinct from a politics of class, for example, she concludes “A politics of work, on the other hand, takes aim at an activity rather than an identity, and a central component of daily life rather than an outcome” (18). Later, in supporting her demands as preferable to what she acknowledges as impressive campaigns for a living wage, she says “. . . I am interested in demands that would not only advance concrete reforms of work but would also raise broader questions about the place of work in our lives and spark the imagination of a life no longer subordinate to it – demands that would serve as vectors rather than terminal points” (33). But I am getting ahead of the story.
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