Bullshit Jobs

A Theory

Hardcover, 335 pages

English language

Published Oct. 7, 2018 by Simon Schuster.


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5 stars (6 reviews)

Bullshit Jobs: A Theory is a 2018 book by anthropologist David Graeber that argues the existence and societal harm of meaningless jobs. He contends that over half of societal work is pointless, which becomes psychologically destructive when paired with a work ethic that associates work with self-worth. Graeber describes five types of bullshit jobs, in which workers pretend their role isn't as pointless or harmful as they know it to be: flunkies, goons, duct tapers, box tickers, and taskmasters. He argues that the association of labor with virtuous suffering is recent in human history, and proposes universal basic income as a potential solution.

12 editions

A very interesting book about work

4 stars

It took me some time to enter into the Bullshit jobs book. At first, it appears as some leftist light essay. The book started when David Graeber wrote a first opinion piece about the fact that a significant percentage of the population is doing work that is useless to society and they know it. This first essay made a lot of noise, and some media made some polls : in UK, more than 35% of people say that they are doing a useless bullshit job. Based on these numbers and lot of testimonies, David Graeber wrote this book to elaborate on this concept. The first chapters appears as quite light : some definitions, some testimonies, some categories of bullshit job. Overall, I wasn't convinced : radically leftist but also pretty light theoretically, not real analysis of what is happening, no stats, everything described in a pretty broad context. But I …

J’ai tagué ce livre « Coup De Cœur » sur mon blog. Il me faudrait créer une étiquette « Indispensables ».

5 stars

Ce livre fait partie de ceux qui changent votre vision du monde ou qui corrigent ce que vous croyez savoir.
Le précédent livre m’ayant fait cet effet est « Tout sur l’économie (ou presque) ».

Avant de lire cet essai : * Je savais que des « jobs à la con » existaient, mais je pensais que c’était un peu anecdotique * Je croyais les « bullshit jobs » beaucoup plus répandus dans la fonction publique et les grosses administrations. * Je ne connaissais pas suffisamment les racines historiques, religieuses de la « valeur » ou des « valeurs » que l’on accorde au travail * Je croyais à la fable de l’efficience du capitalisme

Et bien cet essai : * S’appuie sur des témoignages pour illustrer son propos. Mais même une foule de témoignages n’est pas une preuve. Alors justement…
* Trouve des preuves de ce qu’il avance …

Ammettere l'esistenza di lavori del cavolo è un taboo

5 stars

Saggio dell'antropologo anarchico David Graeber. Il libro affronta a mo' di testo argomentativo come piĂą della metĂ  dei lavori della nostra societĂ  siano senza senza senso e/o frustranti. Per farlo l'autore riporta testimonianze e dati raccolti da un campione di persone che hanno risposto al suo sondaggio. Consigliatissimo, soprattutto per le prospettive nuove e stimolanti.

a refreshing reminder

5 stars

Personally, this book helped me to work through some of the reasons why my last attempt at salaried employment failed so miserably. It's a great read for anyone who is interested in anti-work. The descriptions of feudalism and new feudalism in the last few chapters are an interesting take on the current dominant economic system.

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rated it

5 stars


  • Nonfiction
  • Economics
  • Sociology