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The Religion of Workism Is Making Americans Miserable - The Atlantic
The economists of the early 20th century did not foresee that work might evolve from a means of material production to a means of identity production. They failed to anticipate that, for the poor and middle class, work would remain a necessity; but for the college-educated elite, it would morph into a kind of religion, promising identity, transcendence, and community. Call it workism.
USA  work  labour  hours  overwork  Keynes  DWYL  identity  passion  religion  healthcare  employment  millennials  debt  students  socialMedia  pay  wages  competition  welfare  freeTime  economics 
7 weeks ago by petej
How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation
Those expectations encapsulate the millennial rearing project, in which students internalize the need to find employment that reflects well on their parents (steady, decently paying, recognizable as a “good job”) that’s also impressive to their peers (at a “cool” company) and fulfills what they’ve been told has been the end goal of all of this childhood optimization: doing work that you’re passionate about.
millennials  mentalHealth  stress  burnout  work  overwork  insecurity  instability  money  debt  precarity  education  parenting  DWYL  passion  jobs  employment  socialMedia  Instagram  identity  performance  branding  exploitation  acquiescence  women  culture  politics  lateCapitalism 
january 2019 by petej
Vocational Awe and Librarianship: The Lies We Tell Ourselves – In the Library with the Lead Pipe
The problem with vocational awe is the efficacy of one’s work is directly tied to their amount of passion (or lack thereof), rather than fulfillment of core job duties. If the language around being a good librarian is directly tied to struggle, sacrifice, and obedience, then the more one struggles for their work, the “holier” that work (and institution) becomes. Thus, it will become less likely that people will feel empowered, or even able, to fight for a healthier workspace. A healthy workplace is one where working around the clock is not seen as a requirement, and where one is sufficiently compensated for the work done, not a workplace where “the worker [is] taken for granted as a cog in the machinery.”34

Libraries are just buildings. It is the people who do the work. And we need to treat these people well. You can’t eat on passion. You can’t pay rent on passion. Passion, devotion, and awe are not sustainable sources of income. The story of Saint Lawrence may be a noble one, but martyrdom is not a long-lasting career. And if all librarians follow in his footsteps, then librarianship will cease to exist. You might save a life when wandering outside for lunch, but you deserve the emotional support you’ll no doubt need as a result of that traumatic event. You may impress your supervisor by working late, but will that supervisor come to expect that you continually neglect your own family’s needs in the service of library patrons? The library’s purpose may be to serve, but is that purpose so holy when it fails to serve those who work within its walls every day? We need to continue asking these questions, demanding answers, and stop using vocational awe as the only way to be a librarian.
libraries  librarians  work  labour  vocation  pride  passion  exploitation 
january 2018 by petej
Is passionate work a neoliberal delusion? | openDemocracy
The political question that arises from these processes is whether the partly-enforced move into creative labour brings with it a disavowal of social and collective engagements of the type that have historically been associated with organised labour—and more widely, with social democracy—in favour of sheer self-interest. Or might new forms of organisation emerge which support the idea of welfare and social protection inside precarious creative work? Or might it be the case that creative labour can be put to social use—for example in pioneering radical social enterprises rather than simply going along with the idea of the ‘social business model’?

The most powerful factor inhibiting re-collectivisation is not just the widespread process of individualisation that so many leading sociologists have discussed, but more specifically the kind of self-interest which underpins what I refer to as ‘the artist as human capital.’ This phrase refers to the way in which the life of the artist has come to exemplify a model of neoliberal freedom.
creativity  work  neoliberalism  passion  training  skills  entrepreneurialism 
september 2016 by petej

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