THE WORK CURE

CRITICAL ESSAYS
ON WORK AND
WELLNESS

Edited by Autonomy's Research Affiliate David Frayne

PCCS Books 2019

The Work Cure is an invitation to imagine a different kind of future, where employment no longer represents the chief source of security and meaning, so integral to our well-being.  It is also essential reading for anyone who has doubted whether positivity, self-improvement and ‘resilience’ can really be the answer to work’s problems.

It includes essays from Ivor Southwood, Nic Murray and Autonomy’s Research Affiliate Jamie Woodcock.

read a sample from the introduction to 'The Work Cure'

To order a copy of The Work Cure: critical essays on work and wellness at a reduced price follow this link:

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Praise for The Work Cure:

‘The idea that work, including the enthusiastic search for work, is integral
to mental health has become a key ideological tenet of post-industrial
capitalism. “Wellness” and “positive thinking” are goals that divert attention
from social and political questions and towards managerial ones. By reintroducing
critical and political perspectives to this agenda from those who
have witnessed this new psychological government at first hand, The Work
Cure demonstrates that resistance is possible, and in doing so offers hope of a
more emancipatory psychology.’

William Davies, author of The Happiness Industry: how the government and
big business sold us wellbeing

 

‘Most of us have to sell our labour to survive. What’s worse, we also have
to listen as a growing army of (well-paid) professionals explain that work is
essential to health and wellbeing. This much-needed collection of critical voices
(provocative, political, surreal, despairing) provides a forensic interrogation
of the imposition of work and exposes the creeping tyranny of wellbeing.
With contributions from academics, psy-professionals and activists, this book
unsettles tired platitudes about meaningful work and instead focuses on the
real consequences of the organisation of labour: work’s colonisation of time
and energy, to the extent that employers are not so much bosses as owners – a
trend enabled by the marriage of work discipline and therapy culture analysed
in chapters by David Frayne and Recovery in the Bin. Introna and Casagrande’s
compelling account of the anti-productivist force of disability also describes the
power and possibilities of resistance: “It’s up to us to recognise our misfitting
as a source of restored dignity and connect our struggles through the refusal
of work.” This essential book makes a powerful, interdisciplinary contribution
to the politics, practice and potential of work refusal.’

Lynne Friedli, researcher and activist

 

‘Some books are useful, and some, like this one, which shows the misery that
is caused by the use of psychological and welfare apparatuses instrumentally in
the service of an austerity agenda, are indispensable. The contributors together
provide a vital resource for understanding how neoliberalism gets inside all of
us and, crucially, into the lives of those who should be offered solidarity, rather
than subjected to coercion.’

Ian Parker, Emeritus Professor of Management, University of Leicester, UK

David Frayne is a research affiliate of Autonomy, the author of The Refusal of Work (2015) and is a Berggruen Fellow at the Department of Philosophy, New York University. He can be found on Twitter: @TheWorkDogma