Advertisement

Abstract

What’s so good about work? Throughout history some have praised it, others have cursed it, but few escaped it or had the luxury of deciding whether they should work or not. At some time or another we all wish that we didn’t have to work. We fantasize about catching up on chores or hobbies, spending more time with family, friends or a loved one, reading great books, and traveling. Lotteries seduce with the vision of freedom from work and material need, yet a surprisingly large number of lottery winners and other independently wealthy individuals continue to work. It is easy to imagine not working for a short time; the task of imagining a whole life without work is more difficult. For some people the question “Why work?” is ridiculous because they don’t have a choice in the matter. “We work because we have to make a living.” That is why people have paid jobs, but it doesn’t explain why they do other kinds of work. Nonetheless, the economic interpretation of work is so strong in our culture and a growing number of other cultures, that we tend to equate work with “being on the job”.

Keywords

Free Time Moral Virtue Meaningful Work Protestant Work Ethic Lottery Winner 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Ableson, R.: When Waa turns to Why. In: The New York Times, November 11 1997, p. D1.Google Scholar
  2. Aesop’s Fables. Transl. by Rev. G.F. Townsend. New York 1924.Google Scholar
  3. Aristotle: Politics. In: Barnes, J. (ed.), The Complete Works of Aristotle, vol 2. Princeton 1984.Google Scholar
  4. Brewer, E.C.: Brewers Dictionary of Phrase and Fables, ed. By Ivor H. Evans. New York 1989.Google Scholar
  5. Corrigan, P.: The Trouble With Unemployment is that You Never get the Day Off. In: Coalber, F. (ed.), Freedom and Constraint. New York 1989.Google Scholar
  6. Daley, F.W.: Aesop Without Morals. New York 1961.Google Scholar
  7. Eaton, L.: Is There Life after Wall Street? In: New York Times, January 29 1998, p. D1.Google Scholar
  8. Gross, J.: Women and Their Work. How Life Inundates Art. In: The New York Times August 23 1998, Business Section, p. 9Google Scholar
  9. Hayworth, L.: Decadence and Objectivity. Toronto 1977.Google Scholar
  10. Hegel, G.W.F.: The Philosophy of Right. Oxford 1952.Google Scholar
  11. Hirschman, A.O.: The Passions and the Interests. Princeton 1976.Google Scholar
  12. Hoffer, E.: Between the Devil and the Dragon. New York 1982.Google Scholar
  13. Jahoda, M. and Lazarsfeld, P.F. and Zeisel, H.: Marienthal. Sociography of an Unemployed Community. Chicago 1971.Google Scholar
  14. Keynes, J.M.: The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money. New York 1936.Google Scholar
  15. Mandeville, B.: The Fable of the Bees, 3rd ed., vol. 1. London 1724.Google Scholar
  16. Marx, K.: Grundrisse. Transl. by M. Nicolaus. New York 1973.Google Scholar
  17. McKenna, E.P.: When Work Doesn’t Work Anymore. New York 1997.Google Scholar
  18. Northcole, J.: Fables. London 1833.Google Scholar
  19. The Compact Oxford English Dictionary. New Edition. Oxford 1991.Google Scholar
  20. Rousseau, J.J.: The Social Contract and Discourses. London 1973.Google Scholar
  21. Ryan, M.: Why. In: Parade Magazin, September 21 1997, p. 16.Google Scholar
  22. Sahlins, M.: Stone Age Economics. Chicago 1928.Google Scholar
  23. Scripts of Theravada Buddhists: The Pali Canon „Singalavada-Sutta, Dighanikaya“, 3.180.Google Scholar
  24. “Securities Firm Chief to Be Priest” In: New York Times, November 20 1997.Google Scholar
  25. Stanley, T. and Danko, W.: The Millionaire Next Door. Atlanta, GA 1997.Google Scholar
  26. Suits, B.: The Grashopper. Games, Life and Utopia. Toronto 1978.Google Scholar
  27. Watts, I.: Against Idleness and Mischief. In: Horoe, Lyricae and Divine Songs. Boston 1854.Google Scholar
  28. Wilson, W.J.: When Work Disappears. New York 1996.Google Scholar
  29. Work in America, Department of Health, Education and Welfare Report. Cambridge 1973, p. 10.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joanne B. Ciulla
    • 1
  1. 1.Jepson School of Leadership StudiesUniversity of RichmondRichmond

Personalised recommendations