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Lost in Work: Escaping Capitalism at Pluto Press

Discussing everything from the history of work under capitalism, to social reproduction and the trade union movement, our panel are:

Amelia Horgan, author of Lost in Work: Escaping Capitalism; Sarah Jaffe, a reporting fellow at Type Media Center and the author of Work Won’t Love You Back; and Orlando Lazar, a political theorist and college lecturer at the University of Oxford, whose research focuses on power and domination at work.

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You Have Nothing To Lose But Your Brains on Ten Thousand Posts

This week, we’re joined by labor journalist Sarah Jaffe (@sarahljaffe) to talk about her book Why Work Won’t Love You Back, which is out with Hurst Publishers. We talk about how the 2008 financial crisis permanently changed the structure of work, normalising instability and precariousness and creating foundational struggle myths to justify paying people below minimum wage. We also talk about how these confrontations have played out online, in forms ranging from self-fashioned girlboss culture, to low-paid gig economy workers beginning to unionise and demand the very basic levels of dignity.

Event • Philadelphia

Work Won’t Love You Back: How Capitalism Exploits Labors of Love at Penn’s Andrea Mitchell Center

In her new book, Work Won’t Love You Back, SARAH JAFFE explores the way we relate to work under the conditions of capitalism. From the unpaid intern to the professional athlete, Jaffe reveals the alienating ideology of “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” By unmaking the lie that work is defined and guided by passion, we can imagine more emancipatory futures where our lives are no longer dominated by waged labor and where we have the ability to explore our interests and loves outside an exploitative economic system. As part of the Andrea Mitchell Center’s CAPITALISM/SOCIALISM/DEMOCRACY series, Jaffe joins M. EDITH SKLAROFF for a discussion of the “labor of love” myth and its role in perpetuating current economic and social relations.

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 […]

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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.

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Will VR Destroy my Future Work-Life Balance?

I was on a panel at Advertising Week Europe courtesy of my friend and longtime collaborator Cortney Harding. Live to work or work to live? As members of the creative class and its extended circles, we’re especially familiar with the rhetoric around following our passions and loving what we do. But what could and should […]