Kathi Weeks: The Problem with Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics, and Postwork Imaginaries (2011)
Filed under book | Tags: · autonomy, basic income, capitalism, critique, feminism, fordism, labour, marxism, politics, postwork, production, productivism, value, work
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.
Publisher Duke University Press, 2011
a John Hope Franklin Center Book
ISBN 0822351129, 9780822351122