With the rise of automation and precarious forms of work, jobs are becoming increasingly polarised. While some are overworked, there are many more people forced into precarious and underpaid work, work that falls heavily on those most vulnerable in society. All of this while countries in the Global North are experiencing a crisis of care, where the disproportionately gendered labour of care is undervalued, and often unpaid. In this talk Kyle Lewis and Will Stronge argue that one powerful and practical response to the worrying trend of job polarisation is the call for a shorter working week.
The time we spend at work is neither natural nor inevitable. Instead the amount of time we spend working is a political, cultural and economic question. In their new book Overtime Lewis and Stronge explain what a shorter waged working week means, as well as its history and its political implications. The authors argue that any long-term plan for a sustainable, just economy must involve a reduction in the time we spend working. Drawing on a range of political and economic thinkers, Lewis and Stronge argue that only by doing so can we create a more just and equal society, one that allows people the space and opportunity to develop an ethic based on citizen engagement and self-autonomy outside of market interaction.
Kyle Lewis is an Associate Lecturer in the Health and Social Sciences department at the University of the West of England, and a researcher at the think tank Autonomy.
Will Stronge is the co-director of the think tank Autonomy, and a researcher in Politics and Philosophy at the University of Brighton.
LINKS FOR FURTHER INFO:
Website: autonomy.work / https://www.versobooks.com/books/3649-overtime
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/autonomyresearch / https://www.facebook.com/VersoBks
Twitter: @Autonomy_uk / @w_stronge / @autonomous_coys / @VersoBooks