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Work Won't Love You Back: How Devotion to…
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Work Won't Love You Back: How Devotion to Our Jobs Keeps Us Exploited,… (edition 2021)

by Sarah Jaffe (Author)

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1255181,916 (3.89)1
A deeply-reported examination of why "doing what you love" is a recipe for exploitation, creating a new tyranny of work in which we cheerily acquiesce to doing jobs that take over our lives. You're told that if you "do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life." Whether it's working for "exposure" and "experience," or enduring poor treatment in the name of "being part of the family," all employees are pushed to make sacrifices for the privilege of being able to do what we love. In Work Won't Love You Back, Sarah Jaffe, a preeminent voice on labor, inequality, and social movements, examines this "labor of love" myth--the idea that certain work is not really work, and therefore should be done out of passion instead of pay. Told through the lives and experiences of workers in various industries--from the unpaid intern, to the overworked teacher, to the nonprofit worker and even the professional athlete--Jaffe reveals how all of us have been tricked into buying into a new tyranny of work. As Jaffe argues, understanding the trap of the labor of love will empower us to work less and demand what our work is worth. And once freed from those binds, we can finally figure out what actually gives us joy, pleasure, and satisfaction.… (more)
Member:Kristina_Olga
Title:Work Won't Love You Back: How Devotion to Our Jobs Keeps Us Exploited, Exhausted, and Alone
Authors:Sarah Jaffe (Author)
Info:Bold Type Books (2021), 433 pages
Collections:Your library
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Work Won't Love You Back: How Devotion to Our Jobs Keeps Us Exploited, Exhausted, and Alone by Sarah Jaffe

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Showing 5 of 5
Fuck you, pay me. Saved you time reading this trash. ( )
  Paul_S | Apr 8, 2022 |
Audiobooks that clock in at 13 hours usually signal that I will start to disengage at some point, but that never happened here. I really appreciated the way Jaffe pulled about as many sectors of contemporary Western economy as she did to look at the ways capitalism has distorted our notions of work and exploited us. Oof. Happy Monday... ( )
  LibroLindsay | Jun 18, 2021 |
This book is so good and so important for folks to read in really industry but especially in those areas she covers in the book. Jaffe takes really an IMMENSE amount of research (it's deeply impressive actually,) and covers so many fields, especially those that are devalued gendered work. As a grad student, I deeply appreciate her covering adjunct and grad student labor and revealing how the (gendered!) labor of teaching is left up to them while tenured professors at many institutions get to drop their teaching responsibilities to pursue their own academic work.

The other chapters are all also excellent--I think the tech labor chapter also was fascinating, especially looking at how some of the myths of the industry lead to the exploitation within the industry (recruiting people who dropped out of college so we don't have to pay them as much, for example) though I maybe was more interested because I didn't have as much knowledge as I did about the struggles of teacher unions and the work around care labor that is being organized.

I do wish she had covered her own field, or at least freelance work generally, because I think there's so much going on there that is ultimately related to this (how are you asked to care about your OWN work as part of freelancing), and the problems of many of these are tied up in "bad bosses" but I think it's also worth looking into ways that freelancers have been organizing and what that might look like. But I think she already covered SO MUCH that I understand why she didn't, and she does it all--the history of these fields, the economic aspects, narratives of organizing, interviews with workers--so I'll just wait for another book maybe.

But I do think everyone should read this and reconsider their relationship to work that asks you to be devoted to your job in some capacity, so please get it asap! (And then try and organize your workplace!) ( )
  aijmiller | Jun 9, 2021 |
Published: January 25, 2021
Bold Type Books
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Sarah Jaffe is a Type Media Center reporting fellow and an independent journalist covering the politics of power, from the workplace to the streets. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Nation, the Guardian, the Washington Post, The New Republic, the Atlantic, and many other publications. She is the co-host, with Michelle Chen, of Dissent magazine’s Belabored podcast, and a columnist at The Progressive and New Labor Forum.

“We’re supposed to work for the love of it, and how dare we ask questions about the way our work is making other people rich while we struggle to pay rent and barely see our friends.”

This book was a lot deeper than I anticipated. When I applied for this book, I thought I was getting a book about how we have an impossible work-life balance and how many of us choose to work over home more than we should. Boy, was I wrong.

There is so much information in this book. I had to read it in several sittings, and I read three books during this book. I had to break the facts up and give my brain a break. The facts and statistics in this book are eye-opening and terrifying.

The first thing you are going to learn is that Sarah Jaffe is smart. Smart. She is knowledgeable, insightful, and driven. She has done her research. This is not a quick and easy read. This book is heavy. It’s deep. It’s dense. It is filled with facts and personal testimonials, and stories from those who have experienced things.

This book is intense and brutally eye-opening. The way work is defined forever been changed for me. I will never find any job simple or basic. And I will forever think of the paths that lead to a specific position.

This book breaks things down, by number, by race, by gender, by position in such a way that it made my brain hurt. I had no idea. This book will not only make you infinitely more aware of your privilege, but it will also make you smarter for knowing the journey it took to get to where we are today.

This book stats straight up facts regarding how women are treated in the workforce—starting from the beginning. This book breaks down how women of color paved the way and fought for every bit of success they earned.

This book is a must-read. We should all be informed. We should know these things, these statistics. We should know how work is truly defined, and we should recognize every aspect of work. This book was dense but so beautifully written. Sarah Jaffe did her homework, and she delivered her findings in such a powerful way. I learned so much from reading this book, and I feel like I am better for it. This book will be on my recommendation list for sure. ( )
  KKECReads | Apr 27, 2021 |
Well I think this might be one of the most important books I’ve read this year (I love that I have two so far, and it’s only February). It covers so many types of work, and she admits that there are tons more she wasn’t able to cover. I was nodding along with retail, teaching, and nonprofit work, and feeling so much hearing about others.

It’s a hard listen as it seems impossible to see a solution, but I’m glad that Jaffe has done this important work to have it out there. I highlighted a ton of stuff, but the literal last in the book covers a lot: “...love is too big and beautiful and grand and messy and human a thing to be wasted on a temporary fact of life like work.” ( )
  spinsterrevival | Feb 13, 2021 |
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I love my work.
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A deeply-reported examination of why "doing what you love" is a recipe for exploitation, creating a new tyranny of work in which we cheerily acquiesce to doing jobs that take over our lives. You're told that if you "do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life." Whether it's working for "exposure" and "experience," or enduring poor treatment in the name of "being part of the family," all employees are pushed to make sacrifices for the privilege of being able to do what we love. In Work Won't Love You Back, Sarah Jaffe, a preeminent voice on labor, inequality, and social movements, examines this "labor of love" myth--the idea that certain work is not really work, and therefore should be done out of passion instead of pay. Told through the lives and experiences of workers in various industries--from the unpaid intern, to the overworked teacher, to the nonprofit worker and even the professional athlete--Jaffe reveals how all of us have been tricked into buying into a new tyranny of work. As Jaffe argues, understanding the trap of the labor of love will empower us to work less and demand what our work is worth. And once freed from those binds, we can finally figure out what actually gives us joy, pleasure, and satisfaction.

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