For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

Resisting Work: The Corporatization of Life and Its Discontents

by Fleming, Peter (2015)


A job is no longer something we "do," but instead something we "are." As the boundaries between work and non-work have dissolved, we restructure ourselves and our lives using social ingenuity to get things done and be resourceful outside the official workday. In his provocative book, Resisting Work Peter Fleming insists that many jobs in the West are now regulated by a new matrix of power-biopower-where "life itself" is put to work through our ability to self-organize around formal rules. This neoliberal system of employment tries to absorb our life attributes--from our consumer tastes, "downtime," and sexuality--into employment so that questions of human capital and resources replace questions of employee, worker, and labor. Fleming then suggests that the corporation turns to communal life-what he calls "the common"-in order to reproduce itself and reinforce corporate culture. Yet a resistance against this new definition of work is in effect, and Fleming shows how it may already be taking shape.


Resistance, Biopower, Self-Organisation, Neoliberalism, Consumerism, Downtime, Sexuality, Human Capital, Corporation


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