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Lost in Work

Lost in Work

Escaping Capitalism

Amelia Horgan

Series: Outspoken by Pluto

How work stole our lives and what we can do about it

'Work hard, get paid.' It's simple. Self-evident. But it's also a lie - at least for most of us. For people today, the old assumptions are crumbling; hard work in school no longer guarantees a secure, well-paying job in the future. Far from a gateway to riches and fulfillment, 'work' means precarity, anxiety and alienation.

Amelia Horgan poses three big questions: what is work? How does it harm us? And what can we do about it? While abolishing work altogether is not the answer, Lost in Work shows that when we are able to take control of our workplaces, we become less miserable, and can work towards the transformative goal of experimenting with 'work' as we know it.

Amelia Horgan is a writer and researcher. She has written for various publications, including Tribune, the Guardian and VICE.

'A brilliant, searing expose of the lies underpinning work' - Owen Jones

'Fascinating and absorbing ... a corrective to the widespread view that anyone can find fulfilment through their job, if they just work hard enough' - Grace Blakeley, editor of 'Futures of Socialism' (Verso, 2020)

'Amelia Horgan is, in the words of organizer Fred Ross, a social arsonist. Her book will set your world on fire. Somewhere in our bones, we know that work is getting worse. But with this book, Horgan has provided the match and the kindling we need to burn the whole thing down' - Sarah Jaffe, author of Work Won't Love You Back (Hurst,, 2021)

'An excellent and important book. It combines sharp political insight with nuanced analyses ... an invaluable resource to those with an interest not just in better understanding labour and exploitation, but also in the possibilities of freedom and collective joy' - Helen Hester, Professor of Gender, Technology and Cultural Politics at the University of West London and author of 'Xenofeminism' (Polity, 2018)

'I can't think of a more succinct and elegant expression of what work does to us and, in turn, why it's never been more urgent to shape our work' - Will Stronge, Director of Research at Autonomy and author of 'Post-Work' (Bloomsbury, 2022)

'An incisive analysis of the contemporary crisis of work - and a ringing call to reimagine it' - Amia Srinivasan, Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory at All Souls College, Oxford, and author of 'The Right to Sex: Feminism in the Twenty-first Century' (Bloomsbury, 2021)

'At last, a book that helps us appreciate the long history of the working class challenge to the tyranny of work that puts class struggle in the workplace firmly back on the agenda' - John McDonnell, former Shadow Chancellor of the Labour Party

Introduction: Work's Fantasy
1. Work, Capitalism and Capitalist Work
2. Contesting 'Work'
3. The Paradox of New Work
4. What Does Work Do to Us As Individuals?
5. Jobification Nation: When Play is Serious Business
6. What Does Work Do to Society?
7. Phantoms and Slackers: Resistance at Work
8. Getting Together: Organised Labour and the Workers' Dream
9. Time Off: Resistance to Work
Conclusion: Getting to Work
Published by Pluto Press in Jun 2021
Paperback ISBN: 9780745340913
eBook ISBN: 9781786807007

176 pages

129mm x 198mm

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