Riles Reads: Bullshit Jobs by David Graeber

Dive into 'Bullshit Jobs' by David Graeber and get ready for an eye-opener about the work world today. Graeber explores why so many of us feel our jobs are pointless and how that's not just a personal gripe but a big issue in how society's set up. It's not just about ranting; it's about understanding why we're stuck in these roles and thinking about what work should really mean to us. This book is a great convo starter for anyone who's ever thought, 'Why am I even doing this job?' Plus, it'll get you thinking about how we can all make a better, fairer world where our jobs feel worthwhile. Trust me, it's a read that'll make you question, laugh, and maybe even want to shake things up a bit.

Every day we wake up and collectively make a world together, but which one of us, left to our own devices, would ever decide they wanted to make a world like this one? (from Bullshit Jobs by David Graeber)

In this book, Graeber explores the concept of "bullshit jobs" which he defines as roles perceived as utterly meaningless, unnecessary, or artificial, not only by society but also by the people holding them. These jobs do not seem to contribute meaningfully to the world, leading to moral and existential dilemmas for employees. Why do we have them, when we're supposed to be so focused on being productive and effective?

He explores the social and psychological effects of meaningless work, and asks us to explore: what if we had our time back instead of being required to do work we didn't feel engaged in? 

And lastly, he critiques the capitalist system that perpetuates the existence of "bullshit jobs" as a means to keep people busy, suggesting that this is a deliberate feature of the economy to maintain control and order. He argues for a reevaluation of work's value and purpose in society, advocating for a shift towards more meaningful and productive employment.

If you've ever wanted to think more about the value of work in our world, this is a great introduction to some key questions that will become only more pressing as we move forward in our current technological revolution. 

What is work for?

Grab your copy of the book today from your local library, bookstore, or online at Bookshop.org and if you want to read books like this regularly with a group of supportive folks, consider joining the Soft Heart Book Club today!

Thank you for being here 👋 I'm a queer creative based in Barcelona who has intentionally built a life where I can work remotely and explore the world. Along the way, I'm trying to figure out how to be a good human.

I want to work together to help you create the world you want to live in. I write, make art, and create community spaces for us to to share thoughts, feelings, & opportunities for us to explore together. Being human is hard, but we can make it easier for each other. I believe in us. 💜

Stay connected

💌 Join the mailing list community to get regular art, explorations, and opportunities for learning direct to your inbox

📚 Join the book club to read a monthly book to help you be a better human.

🎵 Follow on TikTok

📷 Follow on Instagram

📌 Follow on Pinterest

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published