February 2013 Archives

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of participating in a very stimulating conference on invisible labor hosted by Washington University's Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Work and Social Capital. My contribution was reflected in an old adage that states that the eye does not see what the mind does not know. We only see and value work when it conforms to our mental models of what work is. In the public imagination, why is work less visible than other key aspects of human life? Because dominant ways of thinking about work reduce it to a curse or to a commodified, instrumental activity that supports consumption. So we do not think of work as having deeper value, and therefore we overlook work in favor of other human activities. Similarly, why are certain forms of work invisible? Because when we think of work in certain ways, especially as a commodified, instrumental activity, then forms of work that are thought of as different from or only weakly fulfilling these dominant conceptualizations of work are devalued and rendered invisible.

This page is an archive of entries from February 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

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About this Blog

Whither Work? is a blog about work created by John Budd. I am a professor of Work and Organizations in the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management, and the author of several books including The Thought of Work. Follow me on Twitter: @JohnWBudd.