For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Transformation and the Satisfaction of Work"

by Sanchez, A (2020)


This article suggests a new conceptual framework for understanding why some types of work are experienced in more satisfying ways than others. The analysis is based on research in an Indian scrap metal yard, where work entails disassembling things that other people no longer want. In spite of the demanding conditions of the labor and the social stigma attached to it, employees express satisfaction with the work process. This observation raises questions about theories of labor, which see satisfaction as arising from work that is creative, skilled, and task-based. The article argues that transformation is a social process that should be used as the primary analytic for explaining work satisfaction. Theories of creativity, skill, and task are secondary analytics that describe subsets of transformative action.


Skill, Satisfaction, Creativity, Transformitivity, Rhythm, Heidegger


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