The problem with work : feminism, Marxism, antiwork politics, and postwork imaginaries / Kathi Weeks.

  • Weeks, Kathi, 1958-
  • Books

About this work


In The Problem with Work, Kathi Weeks boldly challenges the presupposition that work, or waged labor, is inherently a social and political good. While progressive political movements, including the Marxist and feminist movements, have fought for equal pay, better work conditions, and the recognition of unpaid work as a valued form of labor, even they have tended to accept work as a naturalized or inevitable activity. Weeks argues that in taking work as a given, we have "depoliticized" it, or removed it from the realm of political critique. Employment is now largely privatized, and work-based activism in the United States has atrophied. We have accepted waged work as the primary mechanism for income distribution, as an ethical obligation, and as a means of defining ourselves and others as social and political subjects. Taking up Marxist and feminist critiques, Weeks proposes a postwork society that would allow people to be productive and creative rather than relentlessly bound to the employment relation. Work, she contends, is a legitimate, even crucial, subject for political theory. --- Book Description.


Durham : Duke University Press, 2011.

Physical description

287 pages ; 25 cm.


"A John Hope Franklin Center Book".


Mapping the work ethic -- Marxism, productivism, and the refusal of work -- Working demands : from wages for housework to basic income -- "Hours for what we will": work, family, and the demand for shorter hours -- The future is now: utopian demands and the temporalities -- Of hope -- Epilogue: a life beyond work.

Bibliographic information

Includes bibliographical references (pages 235-273) and index.


Where to find it

  • LocationStatus
    History of Medicine
    Open shelves

Permanent link



  • 9780822350965
  • 0822350963
  • 9780822351122
  • 0822351129