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”.


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.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

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

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