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Bullshit Jobs: A Theory Reprint Edition
Contributor(s): Graeber, David
ISBN: 1501143336     ISBN-13: 9781501143335
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
    OUR PRICE: $15.30  
Product Type: Paperback
Published: May 2019
Annotation: From bestselling writer David Graeber—“a master of opening up thought and stimulating debate” (Slate)—a powerful argument against the rise of meaningless, unfulfilling jobs…and their consequences.

Does your job make a meaningful contribution to the world? In the spring of 2013, David Graeber asked this question in a playful, provocative essay titled “On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs.” It went viral. After one million online views in seventeen different languages, people all over the world are still debating the answer.

There are hordes of people—HR consultants, communication coordinators, telemarketing researchers, corporate lawyers—whose jobs are useless, and, tragically, they know it. These people are caught in bullshit jobs.

Graeber explores one of society’s most vexing and deeply felt concerns, indicting among other villains a particular strain of finance capitalism that betrays ideals shared by thinkers ranging from Keynes to Lincoln. “Clever and charismatic” (The New Yorker), Bullshit Jobs gives individuals, corporations, and societies permission to undergo a shift in values, placing creative and caring work at the center of our culture. This book is for everyone who wants to turn their vocation back into an avocation and “a thought-provoking examination of our working lives” (Financial Times).
Additional Information
BISAC Categories:
- Business & Economics | Careers
- Social Science | Anthropology | Cultural
Dewey: 650
Academic/Grade Level: General Adult
Book type: Non-Fiction
Physical Information: 8.50" H x 5.50" W x 1.00" (0.65 lbs) 333 pages
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2018 March #3)

A tsunami of useless jobs is prime evidence of capitalism's moral derangement, according to this bare-knuckled polemic. Drawing on firsthand reports he gathered from workers, anthropologist Graeber (Debt: The First 5,000 Years) taxonomizes pointless busywork: the administrative assistant with time to watch YouTube all day; the PR consultant who writes reports that nobody reads; the subcontractor who drives hundreds of miles to move a client's computer a few feet; the museum guard eternally watching an empty room. Like an update of economist Thorstein Veblen's theory of a purposeless "leisure class" as interpreted by Kafka and Dilbert, Graeber's funny, incisive analysis dissects the absurd social protocols of looking busy when there's nothing to do, and plumbs the depression and self-loathing that erupt when the psychological drive to be useful is thwarted. Less cogently, he elaborates a thesis that capitalism has a sadomasochistic, quasi-religious obsession with unpleasant labor as a "sacred duty." In his quest to be provocative, Graeber himself sometimes strays into BS territory (many people, he contends, believe "we should reward useless or even destructive behavior, and, effectively, punish those whose daily labors make the world a better place"), but his many subversive insights into alienating labor make for an enlightening book that every office drone will relate to. (May)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.