Bullshit Jobs

A Theory

Hardcover, 335 pages

English language

Published Oct. 7, 2018 by Simon Schuster.

ISBN:
9781501143311
Goodreads:
34466958

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4 stars (13 reviews)

Bullshit Jobs: A Theory is a 2018 book by anthropologist David Graeber that argues the existence and societal harm of meaningless jobs. He contends that over half of societal work is pointless, which becomes psychologically destructive when paired with a work ethic that associates work with self-worth. Graeber describes five types of bullshit jobs, in which workers pretend their role isn't as pointless or harmful as they know it to be: flunkies, goons, duct tapers, box tickers, and taskmasters. He argues that the association of labor with virtuous suffering is recent in human history, and proposes universal basic income as a potential solution.

12 editions

A very interesting book about work

4 stars

It took me some time to enter into the Bullshit jobs book. At first, it appears as some leftist light essay. The book started when David Graeber wrote a first opinion piece about the fact that a significant percentage of the population is doing work that is useless to society and they know it. This first essay made a lot of noise, and some media made some polls : in UK, more than 35% of people say that they are doing a useless bullshit job. Based on these numbers and lot of testimonies, David Graeber wrote this book to elaborate on this concept. The first chapters appears as quite light : some definitions, some testimonies, some categories of bullshit job. Overall, I wasn't convinced : radically leftist but also pretty light theoretically, not real analysis of what is happening, no stats, everything described in a pretty broad context. But I …

Interesting Critique of the World of Work

4 stars

This is an interesting read. It was interesting to me as someone aspiring to not have a job and close to making that happen. The look at "why have jobs?" and "why treat them as so sacred?" really hit home.

I have long said that this reverence for having a job is rooted in Puritanism. Recently I am wondering if it is more deeply internalized capitalist frames. Graeber's viewpoint is that it is some of both, which I found interesting.

This book was a good companion piece to Chokepoint Capitalism

Ammettere l'esistenza di lavori del cavolo è un taboo

5 stars

Saggio dell'antropologo anarchico David Graeber. Il libro affronta a mo' di testo argomentativo come più della metà dei lavori della nostra società siano senza senza senso e/o frustranti. Per farlo l'autore riporta testimonianze e dati raccolti da un campione di persone che hanno risposto al suo sondaggio. Consigliatissimo, soprattutto per le prospettive nuove e stimolanti.

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Subjects

  • Nonfiction
  • Economics
  • Sociology