For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"COVID-19 and the Work Society - Critical Times"

by COVID-19 and the Work Society - Critical Times (2020)


Earlier this month, the International Monetary Fund declared the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic to be the greatest downturn since the Great Depression. The shockwaves have reverberated across all domains of life, especially in the labor market, where arguably every worker has experienced disruption of one kind or another. Millions throughout the world now find themselves unemployed or furloughed, others are adjusting to the demands of working from home, while still others continue to go to work but under conditions of heightened risk to their health. Obviously the pandemic affects more than just people’s working lives—social distancing has made in-person socializing and most leisure activities impossible. But in the employment-centered neoliberal society, work is not only most people’s main source of income; it is also one of the main avenues for social interaction and cooperation, as well as a major constituent of individual sense of self and self-worth. The effects of the pandemic on employment therefore extend far beyond the matter of personal finances—as important as that is—and are tugging at the threads of the entire social fabric.


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Pandemics and Work

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