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Publisher's Summary

In The Problem with Work, Kathi Weeks boldly challenges the presupposition that work, or waged labor, is inherently a social and political good. While progressive political movements, including the Marxist and feminist movements, have fought for equal pay, better work conditions, and the recognition of unpaid work as a valued form of labor, even they have tended to accept work as a naturalized or inevitable activity. Weeks argues that in taking work as a given, we have “depoliticized” it, or removed it from the realm of political critique. Employment is now largely privatized, and work-based activism in the United States has atrophied. We have accepted waged work as the primary mechanism for income distribution, as an ethical obligation, and as a means of defining ourselves and others as social and political subjects. Taking up Marxist and feminist critiques, Weeks proposes a postwork society that would allow people to be productive and creative rather than relentlessly bound to the employment relation. Work, she contends, is a legitimate, even crucial, subject for political theory. 

©2011 Duke University Press (P)2021 Audible, Inc.

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Maybe a good intro, but not much new here.

Overall, I think Weeks has a lot of good central points: We need to imagine radically different futures and maintain our hope. She makes concrete demands: UBI and reduction in work hours.

My issue with the book is more than it's written in an academic style that adds nothing to core points. It's more performative poetry and referencing all the other adjacent scholars without adding anything.

If you like the performative style and/or want to learn about the surrounding scholars, this book may be for you, but if you're looking for fresh anti-work ideas, you won't find anything new in here.