Some hold that work is the ultimate expression of human nature. Work is said to give meaning to life and have moral value. Paid work is theoretically the central mechanism for the distribution of wealth and status in our industrial world, while unpaid work underpins our economy and silently supports our culture. But what exactly is it? How does work, work? To answer these questions, in this presentation, I will outline the phenomenological approach of my thesis, which aims to both frame and to situate the “everydayness” of work. I will also summarise my thesis, where I work through a series of literary, ethnographic “fictions”. These specific and detailed descriptions of work are set in the context of contemporary advanced industrial urban consumer society, focusing on contemporary anxieties around work. I hope my innovative method of combining literature, philosophy, and sociology produces original fiction that will “flesh out” my phenomenological description and our understanding of work.

Venue

01-E348 Forgan Smith Building