I was pleased to receive an Advance Reader's Copy of "Bullshit Jobs: A Theory" by David Graeber ...:
(Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Release Date: May 15, 2018; ISBN-13: 978-1-50-114331- 1; Price: USD 27.00)
THERE IS LITTLE OR NO DOUBT THAT SOME OF US HAVE JOBS WE DISLIKE FOR A VARIETY OF REASONS. BUT FEW OF US ACTUALLY CONSIDER THE SOCIAL VALUE OF THE JOBS WE PERFORM.
In this book, a social scientist classifies “bullshit jobs” and differentiates them from “shit jobs” as he goes about the task of moving beyond the economic value of jobs to a more inclusive understanding of a job’s social value.
Following Chapter One -- "What is a Bullshit Job?" comes my favorite chapter. Chapter Two -- "What Sorts of Bullshit Jobs Are There?."
- The Five Major Varieties of Bullshit Jobs
- What Flunkies Do
- What Goons Do
- What Duct Tapers Do
- What Box Tickers Do
- What Taskmasters Do
- On Complex Multiform Bullshit Jobs
- A Word on Second-Order Bullshit Jobs
- A Final Note, with a Brief Return to the Question: Is It Possible to Have a Bullshit Job and Not Know It?
The purpose of this book is to provide a structured look at jobs and their value to society. It will not help you to perform your job but will help you decide if your job is an unsatisfying dead end and worthy of being replaced by a more fulfilling and socially useful endeavor.
Yes, there are negatives?
One, this 368+ page book is not one of those "easy to read in an afternoon" self-help tomes. It is a serious, professional examination of the nature and characteristics of meaningless jobs, how they are created, and what value they have to society. Something that might be expected from a Professor of Anthropology at the London School of Economics.
And two, this book is recommended for people seeking an understanding of time-filling jobs that add little or nothing to societal well-being. It is more a "why" book than a "how book."
From the Publisher ...
"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 a million online views in seventeen different languages, people all over the world are still debating the answer.
There are millions 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. 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."
This is not a book for a mass audience, but for individuals who want to add value to society as well as earning an income.