The Refusal of Work
Paid work is absolutely central to the culture and politics of capitalist societies, yet today’s work-centred world is becoming increasingly hostile to the human need for autonomy, spontaneity and community. The grim reality of a society in which some are overworked, whilst others are condemned to intermittent work and unemployment, is progressively more difficult to tolerate.
In this thought-provoking book, David Frayne questions the central place of work in mainstream political visions of the future, laying bare the ways in which economic demands colonise our lives and priorities. Drawing on his original research into the lives of people who are actively resisting nine-to-five employment, Frayne asks what motivates these people to disconnect from work, whether or not their resistance is futile, and whether they might have the capacity to inspire an alternative form of development, based on a reduction and social redistribution of work.
A crucial dissection of the work-centred nature of modern society and emerging resistance to it, The Refusal of Work is a bold call for a more humane and sustainable vision of social progress.
Praise for ‘The Refusal of Work’
Selected as a ‘must read’ book for 2016 – The Guardian
A well-written romp through theory and critiques of work… Amid the hard-work rhetoric, this book feels liberating and a worthy provocation – Financial Times
Rigorous arguments for the desirability of an end – or a radical reduction – to the amount of work we do, and searching analyses of how this might be achieved – LSE Review of Books
Leads the reader to question if the growing disillusionment with work could blossom into a political alternative and create change on a societal level – Impakter
This is the most engaging and comprehensive book I’ve ever read about how work dominates our lives. It is insightful and inspiring and should be read by everyone who goes to work every day, if they can find the time – Sharon Beder, author of Selling the Work Ethic
Frayne has accomplished something worthy of admiration. He has written the best primer and introduction to the anti-work philosophy; a fascinating ethnography of people who actively try to resist work – The New Rambler