Shadow Work

Shadow Work

The Unpaid, Unseen Jobs That Fill your Day

Book - 2015
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"Fueled by the twin forces of technology and skyrocketing personnel costs, shadow work has taken a foothold in our society. Lambert terms its prevalence as “middle-class serfdom,” and examines its sources in the invasion of robotics, the democratization of expertise, and new demands on individuals at all levels of society. The end result? A more personalized form of consumption, a great social leveling (pedigrees don’t help with shadow work!), and the weakening of communities as robotics reduce daily human interaction. Shadow Work offers a field guide to this new phenomenon. It shines a light on these trends now so prevalent in our daily lives and, more importantly, offers valuable insight into how to counter their effects. It will be essential reading to anyone seeking to understand how their day got so full—and how to deal with the ubiquitous shadow work that surrounds them."--Amazon.com
Publisher: Berkeley, CA :, Counterpoint Press,, [2015]
ISBN: 9781619025257
Characteristics: 277 pages ; 22 cm
Contents: Middle-class serfdom
Shadow work in home and family life
Shadow work at the office
Shadow work in restaurants, travel, shopping
Shadow work on computers and the internet
The twilight of leisure.
Summary: "Fueled by the twin forces of technology and skyrocketing personnel costs, shadow work has taken a foothold in our society. Lambert terms its prevalence as “middle-class serfdom,” and examines its sources in the invasion of robotics, the democratization of expertise, and new demands on individuals at all levels of society. The end result? A more personalized form of consumption, a great social leveling (pedigrees don’t help with shadow work!), and the weakening of communities as robotics reduce daily human interaction. Shadow Work offers a field guide to this new phenomenon. It shines a light on these trends now so prevalent in our daily lives and, more importantly, offers valuable insight into how to counter their effects. It will be essential reading to anyone seeking to understand how their day got so full—and how to deal with the ubiquitous shadow work that surrounds them."--Amazon.com

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peel_m
Oct 19, 2018

My expectations were too high on this book after seeing all of the accolades in the liner notes. I started this book expecting to have a description of non-value-added work that I'm getting pushed into by companies and to leave with some hard-hitting recommendations on what could be done on an individual level and societal level for fighting against this trend. The descriptions of shadow work which were provided were things that I largely think are valuable in contrast to the author. The author's recommendations about how to "fight" the problem were nothing more than basic wisdom like "value your time" and "enjoy your work".

People would be better served by not reading this book and taking a few recommendations: 1. Put away your phone on a regular basis, 2. lobby for lowering the minimum wage so that there's more opportunities for people to get their foot in the door on relatively low paid work, and 3. reading the book of Ecclesiastes.

d
douglasulrich
Nov 15, 2016

This book's stated purpose is to identify for the reader various work that has been pushed toward consumers over the years where previously workers would perform the actions.

[Think cleaning your own table at a restaurant, pumping your own gas, doing your own taxes, investing your own 401k, and the like.]

The author is able to keep from passing judgment on these movements to shadow work and keeps to his purpose of bringing to light these cases of shadow work so that the reader know about them. The reader can then self-examine and make decisions on what work they are willing to take upon themselves, for convenience/savings, or what work they would push back toward the marketplace.

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