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The Problem with Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics, and Postwork Imaginaries (a John Hope Franklin Center Book) Paperback – September 9, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: a John Hope Franklin Center Book
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books (September 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822351129
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822351122
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 5.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #265,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Finally, a well-reasoned and critical treatise on the nature of work has appeared that grapples with the work ethic and wrestles it into submission.” - The Right to Be Lazy blog


The Problem with Work . . . is bold for several reasons. Not the least of which is for its fundamental argument that work should be understood as a concern of political theory, that work is a matter of power and domination as much as it is productivity and economics. This academic provocation aside, Weeks’ book is bold in taking up the critique of work, in claiming anti-work politics. In doing so it breaks both with the dominant ideology that makes work a testament to one’s moral worth and with the center-left contestation of this ideology that demands more aggressive jobs programs to put people to work.” - Unemployed Negativity blog


“[T]his is well worth a read, as Weeks presents a set of imaginative and insightful ideas in a clear and thoroughly argued format.” - Ruth Lorimer, Socialist Review


“Faced with the neoliberal fiat that market values now define what is valuable as such, and that now, more than ever, work is the sole aim for which we all must live, Kathi Weeks stares back without blinking and demands something different. She urges readers to insist on less work and more money, and to do so in a self-consciously militant, utopian register. Combining an imaginative critique of neoliberalism’s warp-drive work ethic with a subtle and badly needed recuperation of the utopian as a mode of political theory and action, The Problem with Work makes a vital contribution to feminist theory, Marxist theory, and the growing political-theoretical literature on time and temporality.” - Paul Apostolidis, Theory & Event


“Put another way, The Problem with Work ... raise[s] key issues for feminism, including the question of whether capitalism can serve the interests of women today and in the future... Th[is book] should be widely read, discussed, and debated...” - Julie P. Torrant, Signs


The Problem with Work is one of the most exciting and original works of social theory that I have read in a great many years. Kathi Weeks’s argument is daring and extremely well executed, and her book is remarkable for its clarity, compulsive readability, and insightful synthesis of critical social theories. This is a truly wonderful book.”—Judith Grant, author of Fundamental Feminism: Contesting the Core Concepts of Feminist Theory


“Kathi Weeks’s excellent book shows us that the project to build a postwork society is a feminist project, one that understands that the real liberation of labor must be the liberation from labor.”—Antonio Negri, author of The Labor of Job: The Biblical Text as a Parable of Human Labor


“Less work or better work? Should alienated labor be a focus of political economic critique or is it more important to question the centrality of work to life and productivity to self-worth? Kathi Weeks builds a feminist political theory of work from these questions. The result is a provocative argument that not only sheds new light on second-wave feminism by putting the 1970s demand for wages for housework in dialogue with autonomist Marxism but reminds that tradition of its debts to feminist theory and activism.”—Lisa Disch, University of Michigan


“[Weeks] convincingly shows how an imperative to be productive, at work, in the home, school and in life generally (’Five Top Tips for Productive Dating Profiles!’), is central to the way capitalism not only puts us to work but makes us want to be put to work. We think work is right and just and when we imagine another world, even a ‘post-revolutionary world’, we imagine a world of work. Weeks argues that we need to break the hold that work has on our imaginations.”
(Nicholas Beuret Red Pepper)

The Problem with Work ... raise[s] key issues for feminism, including the question of whether capitalism can serve the interests of women today and in the future... Th[is book] should be widely read, discussed, and debated...”
(Julie P. Torrant Signs)

“There’s no better way to spend the summer months than by thinking about waged labor, which is why I’m currently reading The Problem with Work, an inventive examination of how seemingly reformist measures such as universal basic income and reduced workweeks can be used as stepping stones toward a world beyond the daily grind.”
(Frank Reynolds The Nation)

The Problem with Work . . . is bold for several reasons. Not the least of which is for its fundamental argument that work should be understood as a concern of political theory, that work is a matter of power and domination as much as it is productivity and economics. This academic provocation aside, Weeks’ book is bold in taking up the critique of work, in claiming anti-work politics. In doing so it breaks both with the dominant ideology that makes work a testament to one’s moral worth and with the center-left contestation of this ideology that demands more aggressive jobs programs to put people to work.”
(Unemployed Negativity blog)

“[T]his is well worth a read, as Weeks presents a set of imaginative and insightful ideas in a clear and thoroughly argued format.”
(Ruth Lorimer Socialist Review)

“Faced with the neoliberal fiat that market values now define what is valuable as such, and that now, more than ever, work is the sole aim for which we all must live, Kathi Weeks stares back without blinking and demands something different. She urges readers to insist on less work and more money, and to do so in a self-consciously militant, utopian register. Combining an imaginative critique of neoliberalism’s warp-drive work ethic with a subtle and badly needed recuperation of the utopian as a mode of political theory and action, The Problem with Work makes a vital contribution to feminist theory, Marxist theory, and the growing political-theoretical literature on time and temporality.”
(Paul Apostolidis Theory & Event)

About the Author

Kathi Weeks is Associate Professor of Women’s Studies at Duke University. She is the author of Constituting Feminist Subjects and a co-editor of The Jameson Reader.


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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Cleveden on September 4, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book. But I will not buy any more serious non-fiction in the Kindle version until the original page numbers are displayed, and it is possible to jump to the end notes and back to the main text without having to search for where you left off.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book presents important ideas and cogent analysis. Alas, impenetrable academic jargon makes it a real chore to get at them. The content amply repays the effort.
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