Novara Media get the chance to discuss with David Graeber about the theories in his new book “Bullshit Jobs”.
David’s book Bullshit Jobs is a Theory 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.
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
The book is an extension of a popular essay Graeber published in 2013, which was later translated into 12 languages and whose underlying premise became the subject of a YouGov poll. Graeber subsequently solicited hundreds of testimonials of bullshit jobs and revised his case into a book that was published by Simon & Schuster in May 2018.
Who is David Graeber?
David Rolfe Graeber born 12 February 1961 is an American anthropologist and anarchist activist, perhaps best known for his 2011 volume Debt The First 5000 Years. He is professor of anthropology at the London School of Economics.
As an assistant professor and associate professor of anthropology at Yale from 1998–2007, he specialized in theories of value and social theory. The university’s decision not to rehire him when he would otherwise have become eligible for tenure sparked an academic controversy. He went on to become, from 2007–13, Reader in Social Anthropology at Goldsmiths, University of London.
His activism includes protests against the 3rd Summit of the Americas in Quebec City in 2001, and the 2002 World Economic Forum in New York City. Graeber was a leading figure in the Occupy Wall Street movement, and is sometimes credited with having coined the slogan, “We are the 99 percent”.