Meaningful Work and Politics

Russell Muirhead

The relationship of money to the romantic ideal of meaningful work is profound and problematic.

Problems and Promises of the Self-Made Myth

Jim Cullen

The lack of focus on the self-made man in recent times is remarkable when one considers how intensely, and how long, it has functioned as a central trope of the American experience.

Temps, Consultants, and the Rise of the Precarious Economy

Louis Hyman

Since 1970, temporary labor has become part of the everyday fabric of work across all segments of society, from the bottom to the top.

Liberated as Hell

Brent Cebul

The quest for personal authenticity and autonomy in the face of unreliable communities and institutions has become a defining feature of the modern working class.

Vocation in the Valley

Philip Lorish

What kind of society can be produced from a work culture that demands so much from its workers without offering them stability in return?

Is There a Future for the Professions?

Howard Gardner

In the course of becoming a professional, a person is learning to fill a certain role in society.

The Self-Assembled Career

Carrie M. Lane

The solution to the unraveling of the social contract of employment may not be to prop up the ailing traditional job but, instead, to imagine what other forms work lives might take. 

Virtuosos of Idleness

Charlie Tyson

Our crisis of work is accompanied by a crisis of idleness.

When Work and Meaning Part Ways

Jonathan Malesic

The fact is, work as we know it isn’t worth saving anyway.

Social Physics Comes to the Workplace

Joseph E. Davis

Nowhere has the power of disembodied observation become more pervasive than in the workplace.

Demystifying Tech

Megan Marz

By suggesting that the constant resetting is all there is, disruption becomes “a theodicy of hypercapitalism,” a kind of “newness for people who are scared of genuine newness.”

Paul Valéry and the Mechanisms of Modern Tyranny

Nathaniel Rudavsky-Brody

All modern forms of government presume an objectification of their citizens.

A New Guild System

Alan Jacobs

I envision a world in which the increased fragmentation of our media scene leads, over time, to the rise of new institutions that are built on stronger foundations.

Corporate Maternalism

Andrew Lynn

What hath the kindergarten to do with the office?

A Happier Internet

Jonathan D. Teubner

Social media desperately requires innovation.

Toward a Leisure Ethic

Stuart Whatley

What if the work-week were fifteen hours a week? What if it were zero?

Making a Living Is More Than Work

Jonathan Malesic

Henry David Thoreau has a reputation for being suspicious of work.

How We Obscure the Common Plight of Workers

Jonathan Malesic

Work is hard in large part because it is a site where people place serious demands on each other. Meeting those demands can be painful.

The Department of Everything

Stephen Akey

A world that has tossed out the print edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica in favor of Wikipedia is not necessarily a richer one.

A (Partial) Defense of Travel Writing

Clare Coffey

Travel is a way of acquiring lifetimes; travel writing, doubly so.

The Dirty Work of Killing

Joanna Sierks Smith

It doesn’t feel like a coincidence that meat consumption has risen as fewer Americans participate in or even think about the slaughter that allows it.

The Serf’s Story

Alan Jacobs

Like the tenants of the Bishop of Worcester, they know that in a tightening job market they have leverage.

The Professional-Managerial Novel

Sohale Andrus Mortazavi

Pretending that all workers are the same obscures rather than clarifies the reality of class.

The Problem with Productivity and the Good Work of Love

Alan Jacobs

That means, first, that I have to love my neighbor—my colleague—above my own productivity.

Galloway in the Shadow of Wendell Berry

John-Paul Heil

Nature knows what is best for itself better than we do.

The Making of an Everyday Object in a High-Tech World

Richard Hughes Gibson

Just as Mims worries now over the unfulfilling tedium of employment at Amazon, Smith worried over the deleterious effects of monotonous work.

The Almost Unbearable Burden of Belonging

David Stromberg

What to become? Dissident or emigrant? Move abroad?

Starting Out

James Conaway

When the going was good for a fledgling writer.

Something Happened to Me the Other Day

Mark Edmundson

When someone so much as touches a state vehicle, the wheels of justice begin to turn, and that’s that.

Maybe Even Build a Boat

Doug Stowe

John Ruskin said, “Lay a brick level in its mortar, or take a straight shaving from a plank, and you’ll have learned a multitude of things that the words of man can never tell.”

AI as Self-Erasure

Matthew B. Crawford

Liberal public culture is a culture of polite separation.