Event • London

Work Won’t Love You Back at the Open University

As we are approaching international workers’ day, come and join Sarah Jaffe as she talks about why Work Won’t Love You Back – a book in which she examines the prevalence of the ‘labour of love’ myth: the idea that certain work is not really work, and should be done for the sake of passion rather than […]

Event

Work Won’t Love You Back on The Professor Is In Podcast

We are delighted to host Sarah Jaffe, the author of the new book, Work Won’t Love You Back: How Our Devotion to Our Work Keeps Us Exploited, Exhausted, and Alone (2021). Sarah’s book talks about academics (“Proletarian Professionals”) as one among many groups of laborers in fields that include art, sports, non-profits, teaching, domestic work and more, that try to make laborers substitute “love” for adequate compensation. Sarah brilliantly and energetically breaks down just how, if the neoliberal turn hinges on choice and freedom, then the apparatus for choice is an apparatus for blame. And, as labor conditions got worse, the more you are supposed to perform your “love” for the job. About the academy specifically she observes that just as white women and people of color are scratching their way in, the conditions collapse and a rhetoric of self-sacrifice, austerity and martyrdom is supposed to prevail.  Drawing inspiration from Ettarh’s concept of “vocational awe” (2018),  Karen and Sarah* talk about resisting the coercive nature of uncompensated and unsafe (in the pandemic) work, and how to improve these conditions by replacing individual competition with an investment in our wider community.

Event

Labor Looks Up After Amazon Union Vote on the Laura Flanders Show

I was particularly pleased with this appearance because my first real job in the media was working on what was then GRITtv with Laura Flanders, and one of the reasons I wanted to work for her was that people had recommended her to me as one of the few people actually covering labor in the media back then (2009, my goodness). So it’s always a joy to return to talk with Laura, the boss who was, as I said in my book acknowledgements, the exception that proves the rule that bosses won’t love you back. 

Event

Sarah Jaffe. Hustle Culture. Exploitative Bosses. on In Good Company

We discuss everything from the fetishisation of busyness and hustle culture, to the impact of a year spent working from home, and how the pandemic is likely to change workplace structures in years to come. Plus, Sarah has some fascinating thoughts on the gig economy and self-employment, the role that personal brands play in creative careers, and how unionising might just be our way out of many of the workplace ills we discuss in this episode.