Just Work

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This elegant essay on the justice of work focuses on the fit between who we are and the kind of work we do. Russell Muirhead shows how the common hope for work that fulfills us involves more than personal interest; it also points to larger understandings of a just society. We are defined in part by the jobs we hold, and Muirhead has something important to say about the partial satisfactions of the working life, and the increasingly urgent need to balance the claims of work against those of family and community.

Against the tendency to think of work exclusively in contractual terms, Muirhead focuses on the importance of work to our sense of a life well lived. Our notions of freedom and fairness are incomplete, he argues, without due consideration of how we fit the work we do.

Muirhead weaves his argument out of sociological, economic, and philosophical analysis. He shows, among other things, how modern feminism's effort to reform domestic work and extend the promise of careers has contributed to more democratic understandings of what it means to have work that fits. His account of individual and social fit as twin standards of assessment is original and convincing--it points both to the unavoidable problem of distributing bad work in society and to the personal importance of finding fulfilling work. These themes are pursued through a wide-ranging discussion that engages thinkers from Plato to John Stuart Mill to Betty Friedan. Just Work shows what it would mean for work to make good on the high promise so often invested in it and suggests what we--both as a society and as individuals--might do when it falls short.

 

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Just work

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Many people view work as simply a means to an end, but Muirhead (government, Harvard Univ.) strongly dissents, seeing it as a key aspect of a meaningful life. For work to fulfill this exalted function ... Прочетете пълната рецензия

Съдържание

Introduction
1
Democracy and the Value of Work
13
Fitting Work in the Contemporary Economy
30
The Justice of Fit
51
The Strains of Service
71
The Work Ethic and Callings
95
The Promise of Fulfillment
114
Friedans Careerism
134
Work as a Practice
149
The Place of Work
167
Notes
179
Acknowledgments
Index
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Информация за автора (2004)

Russell Muirhead is Robert Clements Associate Professor of Democracy and Politics at Dartmouth College.

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