Belabored Podcast #86: Loving and Loathing Work, with Miya Tokumitsu

Belabored Podcast #86: Loving and Loathing Work, with Miya Tokumitsu

Does our basic humanity suffer as we pursue our “dream jobs”? We speak with Miya Tokumitsu, who examines the dangers of the “do what you love” ethic in her new book. Plus: the Seattle teachers’ strike, LA sweatshop struggles, adjunct agony, and the latest in the campaign for workers’ rights at Walmart.


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Do you love your job? Should you? We’re continually bombarded with cultural imagery of Silicon Valley entrepreneurial geniuses and brilliant “self-actualized” professionals—so much that we feel miserable for not having a career that promises that elusive total self-fulfillment. And Miya Tokumitsu thinks that’s exactly the point: she argues in her book, Do What You Love: And Other Lies About Success and Happiness, that our modern workplace culture is designed to conflate personal happiness and human relationships with material achievement and professional prestige, and that our basic humanity suffers as we pursue our “dream jobs.” Tokumitsu talks to us about the dangers of building our identities around the icon of the “passionate” worker, and how a warped philosophy of work-life balance ends up serving corporate power rather than actually empowering those doing the work.

We also discuss the Seattle teachers’ strike, LA sweatshop struggles, adjunct agony, and the re-launch of the campaign to change Walmart from the shop floor. Finally, recommended reading on Europe’s migrant crisis and linking the Fight for 15 with the movement for black lives.

 

News

Seattle students start school with teachers strike suspended (Times Union)

Michelle: Yes, Your T-Shirt Was ‘Made in LA’—and the Worker Got 4 Cents For It (The Nation)

The Union Behind the Biggest Campaign Against Walmart in History May Be Throwing in the Towel. Why? (In These Times)

OUR Walmart Relaunches Its Campaign To Beat the World Retail Giant (In These Times)

Sarah: Teachers are Schooling Government on How to Improve Education (DAME)

Report: “Back to School in Higher Ed: Who Needs Faculty?” (Campaign for the Future of Higher Ed)

 

Conversation:

Do What You Love: And Other Lies About Success and Happiness (Regan Arts)

In the Name of Love (Jacobin)

 

Argh, I Wish I’d Written That!

Michelle: Amy Corcoran, Ever-growing, ever-changing: Inside the Calais camp (Red Pepper)

Sarah: Brendan McQuade, A United Front (Jacobin)


Duggan | University of California Press Gardels