By Helen Hester & Will Stronge

September 6 2020

This article was written between Summer 2018 and Spring 2019. It was originally to be published in a special issue of Political Quarterly on post-capitalism. It didn’t feature due to editorial differences.

Introduction: making post-work fit the mould

Comradely critique is the lifeblood of any tendency, movement or theoretical position, and as such, recent constructive responses to ‘post-work’ discourse represent a welcome development. However, we would contend that there is still some way to go before any nascent ‘Post-Work Studies’ reaches the requisite level of nuance and rigour. As we shall seek to demonstrate in this article, narrow and contorted treatments of post-work literature have led too much critical engagement down unproductive and misguided alleys. Our intervention here is intended in part as a call for more robust critical approaches to post-work – approaches grounded in the close reading of texts by authors who have affiliated themselves with the label ‘post-work’. Too many critics, in their fervent opposition, have not pursued this approach and this has led to much – in our view – wasted time and effort pursuing and dismantling straw men.


In what follows we identify three main ways in which critics have come to false conclusions about  post-work related discourse. The first set of errors revolves around who is included under the terms ‘post-workerists’, the ‘Post-Work Prospectus’ or ‘post-work’ as a tendency to which an author can (or cannot) belong. Here, critics have tended to limit who ‘counts’ as post-work, typically by focusing their criticism on just one or two texts at the expense of a far wider – and richer – body of relevant material. The second set of falsehoods relate to what it is that post-work, and its related thinkers, is supposed to be advocating. Here critics have tended to reduce the post-work project to just one or two demands, which places an arbitrary and somewhat unrepresentative limit upon what this discourse can concretely posit. Lastly, we identify a third set of falsehoods surrounding how post-work enacts or operates as a species of utopianism. In this regard, there are various confused – or perhaps disingenuous – characterisations regarding post-work political strategy, the kind of utopianism put forward by its main proponents and the nature of transitional demands.


We could have picked up on a number of other misguided accusations but did not have the space here to pursue these with sufficient depth and care. We nevertheless hope that our three chosen foci make the case that, up until this point, the critical engagement with the relevant literature leaves much to be desired. We believe that a deepening of the conversation is necessary for the development of the (normative and empirical) debate around the future of work, not only as an academic field, but as a genuinely meaningful set of policy and activist tools.

1. Misrepresenting who: ‘Proponents’, ‘Post-Workerists’ and the ‘PWP’

Perhaps one of the most crucial (and ubiquitous) misreadings to be found within critical responses to ‘post-work’ stems from the manner in which the object of critique is characterised; this is most evident in the characterisations as to who is included under the umbrella of post-work.


In their paper ‘From post-work to post-capitalism?’, Ana Dinerstein and Frederick Pitts primarily represent the post-work tendency via Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams (Inventing the Future, 2015) and Paul Mason (Postcapitalism, 2015).[1] This leads to a condensed summary of post-work positions on the basis of three primary attributes:


First, the development of information technology is “accelerating.” Allied with crisis tendencies in the current phase of capital accumulation, this terminates in a post-capitalist future. Second, dynamics of automation and new cooperative commons potentiate a post-work society of abundance and leisure. Third, progressive left politics must surpass limited, reactive, and parochial “folk politics,” reconfiguring itself around a populist-hegemonic post-work agenda demanding reduced working hours, full automation and a UBI.[2]


This approach rolls two quite distinct texts into a single entity: a grab bag of theses that, despite Dinerstein and Pitts’ presentation, are never found side by side in a written work. The resulting synthesis of Inventing the Future and Postcapitalism is then positioned as largely synonymous with the entire ‘Post-Work Prospectus’ (PWP).


This flattening of the PWP leads to certain tensions within Dinerstein and Pitts’s analysis. For example, whilst they concede that Srnicek and Williams avoid falling into the trap of technological determinism, they nevertheless claim that a ‘crude technological determinism underpins many accounts of automation and informationalization’.[3] Without direct references to or engagements with these accounts, it is somewhat unclear who this claim is being levelled against. Given that the edifice of the ‘PWP’ has been constructed largely on the back of a reading of Inventing the Future up until this point, questions are raised as to how exemplary Dinerstein and Pitts’s privileged examples really are, if the real culprits of post-work failings lie elsewhere. The relationship between the particular and the general is left unclear here: the chosen texts do not quite fit the PWP mould. Despite conceding that the ‘empirical and theoretical contributions to the PWP are rich and varied’ therefore, Dinerstein and Pitts maintain a tight focus on two – already quite diverse – texts, and their understanding of post-work suffers as a result.


The implications of this restrictive framing become further apparent in the article’s positioning of post-work vis-à-vis social reproduction. By limiting their discussion of the ‘PWP’ to two texts which fail to prioritise reproductive labour,[4] Dinerstein and Pitts are able to position post-work as having little interest in activities beyond the wage relation, and to position their own analysis within this supposed gap. Hence they are able to propose “the politics of social reproduction as an alternative prospectus for radical change within and beyond capitalist society”, setting post-work perspectives off from critical explorations of social reproduction.[5]


This criticism is not without grounds. As Hester has argued,[6] some authors associated with post-work have indeed neglected certain kinds of labour (namely, labour that has traditionally been performed by women for low wages or no wages), and a number of post-work texts do understand ‘work’ in the limited sense of ‘remunerated employment’. In Inventing the Future, for example, Srnicek and Williams state bluntly that ‘[b]y ‘work’, we mean our jobs – or wage labour: the time and effort we sell to someone else in return for an income’.[7] David Frayne (another contemporary post-work thinker) offers a similar caveat as to his scope in Refusal of Work; this may be a necessary move for the clarification and refinement of what would otherwise be the rather unwieldy category of ‘work’, but it is a problematic framework, nevertheless.[8] Given historical elisions within Marxist thinking, it’s only right that we should be particularly sensitive to gendered lacunas of this kind. However, this need not (and should not) be the basis for a dismissal of post-work in its entirety. Instead, as we shall argue, we should be invested in the visibility of that material which incorporates (for example) an analysis of domestic labour into its understanding of and ambitions for work.


To our minds, there are pressing, empirically-informed, risks associated with drawing sharp distinctions between theories of social reproduction and post-work politics. For example, such framings downplay or overlook the fact that social reproduction can, and often does, involve work in the more limited sense of paid employment. A large (and growing) part of wealthier economies now centres upon reproductive labour. As Hester and Srnicek note, social reproduction jobs across health care, education, food service, accommodation, and social work now account for 23 to 28% of the labour force, and this only looks set to increase over the next 5 years.[9] Their analysis suggests that 47% of total job growth between 2014 and 2024 is set to be in sectors associated with social reproduction. Whilst the word “work” still arguably conjures up predominantly masculinised forms of waged labour, it is crucial not to lose sight of the fact that schools, hospitals, and domestic residences are just as much workplaces as are building sites, warehouses, and factories. As such, we must be careful not to discuss social reproduction as if it represents an entirely separate domain from remunerated labour, and to acknowledge that attempts to reckon with waged work are not necessarily without direct applications for reproductive labourers.


Furthermore, by pitting ‘the social reproduction perspective’ against that of post-work politics, Dinerstein and Pitts prompt us to query what (and who) is admitted to the PWP. Take the work of Kathi Weeks, for example. Published in 2011, The Problem with Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics and Postwork Imaginaries popularised the notion of post-work thinking in this century. It is cited approvingly by the authors of Inventing the Future as well as in related texts, such as Frayne’s The Refusal of Work (2015) and Sophie Lewis’ Full Surrogacy Now (2019). Weeks draws on a rich history of feminist critiques of work – a history encompassing both remunerated and unremunerated labour, within and beyond the home. For Weeks, the critique of political economy requires the critique of social reproduction and vice versa. She calls for a form of post-work utopianism involving a shorter working week and universal basic income;[10] positions she has reaffirmed in subsequent interviews.[11]


The strength and influence of Weeks’ text would seem to position it at the heart of any PWP worth the name. And yet, Dinerstein and Pitts omit The Problem with Work from their discussion, and exclude it from their understanding of the post-work corpus. This exclusion helps create the appearance of a pivotal schism between social reproduction theory and post-work politics when in fact, no such schism is necessary. By leaving Weeks (and the radical, anti-work ‘Wages for Housework’ tradition from which she builds) out of the PWP, Dinerstein and Pitts, generate a skewed image of the object of their critique. They exclude key texts addressing social reproduction from their version of the PWP, and then accuse the PWP of itself excluding social reproduction. When one considers that the understanding of work evident in their essay routinely neglects directly and indirectly market-mediated reproductive labour, one could argue that the paper reproduces the very exclusion it is projecting onto the PWP.


Interestingly, in other writings where Pitts has engaged directly with Weeks’ explicit endorsement of recent post-work themes such as a basic income and a shorter working week, he has been enthusiastic:


Weeks’s presentation of the basic income as a right indicates a potential way out. In this sense, it is not up to the workers to responsibly contribute ‘productively’ to ‘the community’. The channelling of activities into new forms of work resonates with the perspective of basic income as a ‘directional demand’ towards a new world in which the tasks of social reproduction can be more equally shared.[12]


But once again, the idea of a cleavage between Weeks’ argument and that of post-work is maintained:


the model of a basic income as it appears in the hands of many of those proposing it today – like much of what passes as ‘post-work’ utopianism – has the potential to see these hopes die hard.[13]


Basic income could be framed and deployed progressively, it is suggested, but not in a post-work framework. This confusion as to what is exactly wrong with post-work and who is to be included under this banner leads to such inconsistencies, which ultimately do little to help us assemble a rigorous approach to emancipatory theories of changing labour conditions in the twenty-first century.


Instead of (mis)attributing a ‘prospectus’ that can be wielded against diverse authors, whilst excluding others, we suggest that post-work be considered as a set of texts that have family resemblances; a tendency of thought with common themes – for example, a critical view of the divisions of labour within societies – but with a variety of strategies, perspectives and worldviews, that might sometimes come into conflict with each other too.


That is to say, in reality, there is no single ‘PWP’, but a wide range of projects looking at the changing circumstances surrounding labour via a range of different lenses (from automation, to the work ethic, to the inequitable distribution of specific forms of remunerated and unremunerated work). Material under the post-work umbrella falls along a spectrum, ranging from analyses primarily grounded in the critique of existing conditions, to those which engage with a constructive – sometimes even utopian – reimagining of social life beyond work. There is a notable variety of perspectives even amongst the avowedly left wing thinkers associated with post-work; while most express a general investment in ideas of emancipation from wage labour in the name of human flourishing, they suture their perspectives on life after work to differing political ambitions, be they anarchist, communist, or social democratic.


Dinerstein and Pitts – as emblematic of this trend – have built their idea of the PWP around two texts written by cis male authors.[14] It is this exclusionary framing which allows them to define the PWP in terms of technological acceleration and automation; feminist theorists involved in anti-work left politics tend to foreground other issues and perspectives. Conversely, it is this framing of the PWP which facilitates the exclusion of feminist perspectives. One can imagine an alternative PWP that puts, for example, Wages for Housework thinkers front and centre – a genealogy that Weeks advances.

2. Misrepresenting what: post-work demands

The mischaracterisation of who ‘counts’ as a proponent of post-work ideas feeds into distorted images of what a post-work position actually stands for. As with who ‘counts’ as a post-work thinker, we often see an arbitrary narrowing of the scope of post-work’s demands and arguments.


Amongst critics, post-work is often construed as the demand for basic income plus automated production. Paul Thompson, for example, diagnoses post-work advocates as positing


an embrace of automation to finally kill off work that everyone hates in order to embrace a universal basic income (UBI) that will abolish (most) wage labour and liberate individuals to do something fulfilling.[15]


Dinerstein and Pitts also employ the same ‘UBI + automation’ characterisation of post-work positions throughout their paper. Even in their more generous (and accurate) readings of Srnicek and Williams (‘it is important to note here that the UBI is not posed as a silver bullet’), they vastly narrow what is envisaged by these authors as the necessary raft of demands and policies that would constitute non-reformist reforms. They write that: ‘[For Williams and Srnicek, UBI] works in tandem with foregoing technological trends to accomplish the outcome of a postcapitalist society of automated worklessness’.[16] The charge of technological determinism has evidently slipped back into the language used, whilst post-work has been narrowed to a dual-issue perspective.


Beyond Inventing the Future, we need only point (again) to the work of Frayne and Weeks to show that automation prognostications need not necessarily inform post-work writing. The refusal of work and the desire for ‘time for what we will’ is framed in their works simply as a demand for freedom and gender equality; this demand can obviously be made without mention of basic income or automation. Equally, in Full Surrogacy Now, Sophie Lewis calls for the socialisation of childbearing and child raising, in order to better distribute necessary toil and reduce the extent to which ‘labour does you’. Her frank and unromantic perspective centres around a call for less and better work for gestational and reproductive labourers, extending to a demand for the social reorganization of kinship and the abolition of the family.


Conspicuously absent, or downplayed, in most of the critical engagements of post-work discussed here is advocacy for a shorter working week. This is particularly remarkable, as the reduction of working time might in fact be the ultimate aim, and/or final cause, of most post-work theorising; indeed, we would argue that it is the demand that best identifies texts as relevant to post-work in the first place. After all, why would we demand full automation if not in order to reduce necessary toil? Equally, what is a basic income good for if not to materially facilitate the capacity to refuse bad work and to engage in more freely chosen activities? The obvious connections between these demands frequently pass unnoticed or unreferenced in critiques of post-work discourse. The editorial of the Futures of Work journal (established in Bristol by Pitts, Thompson and others) even implies that a shorter working week is in some way separate from post-work’s trajectory:


Indeed, it may be with the proposal for a four-day week, made here by Kate Bell of the Trades Union Congress, that our aspirations for a better world of work are placed. This retains the link with the social and collective fabric of good work whilst arguably keeping open the time and space for the incubation of alternatives in, against and beyond it.[17]


This framing is significant: it neglects to mention the fact that a shorter working week is one of the core transitional demands at the centre of Inventing the Future, and indeed at the heart of post-work writing in general. In a similar vein, it is telling that Dinerstein and Pitt made no reference to proposals for a shorter working week in an earlier working paper on the ‘PWP’.[18] Having revised the paper in response to feedback,[19] the shorter working week now receives isolated treatment at the close of the essay – though only after post-work (understood as Mason-Srnicek-Williams) has been dismissed for its reductive ‘UBI + automation’ utopianism.


One finds further problematic (and somewhat contradictory) readings of the content of post-work positions when one delves deeper into the Futures of Work journal. Here, critics have found post-work to be too invested in the productivism prescribed by capitalism. For example, Bales, Thomas and Pitts write that:


Advocates of a post-work society implicitly or explicitly base their argument on the idea there is a better and more productive use of our time. However, this idea of ‘productiveness’ is completely internal to the logic of the very capitalist society they seek to escape.[20]


This claim would appear to conflate multiple senses of the word ‘productive’ – productive as in specifically high-yielding, versus productive in its more general sense of rewarding, worthwhile, or valuable. If the argument here is that post-work writers think people may find more gratifying ways of disposing of their time if they were less dependent for survival upon selling it for a wage, then it is unclear how this replicates (rather than resists) capitalist logics. If the argument is that these writers suggest capitalism isn’t productive enough, that they see productivity per se as a key aim for civilisation, then it has scant foundation in the relevant literature. The line of thought becomes even stranger when, in the same piece, Weeks’ work – that is, as we’ve demonstrated, a foundational post-work text – is deployed as a more palatable alternative to post-work ‘productivism’.


Elsewhere in the same journal however, Thompson argues that the opposite is true: post-work is apparently too unproductive. Engaging with Weeks’ arguments, he writes: ‘contra Weeks, this does mean taking productivity seriously…UK workers have to make productivity bargains that share the gains and provide some level of security. At a wider level, low productivity in the UK and elsewhere…constitute a serious obstacle to forms of inclusive, greener growth.’[21] Quite how this call to reintroduce productivity into leading worker demands fits with his warning, in the same article, against ‘performance pressures’ on workers, or how high productivity in the abstract is linked to greener growth is not clear. Aside from questioning productivity as a criteria of success, we might propose a post-work solution to Thompson’s concerns: to actively make green, labour-saving technology bear the brunt of productive activity and move away from a growth-focused economy in general, all the while ensuring that time savings accrue to workers so that they are as free as possible from ‘performance pressures’.

3. Misrepresenting how: Functions of Utopia and Theories of Change

Critics often understand post-work authors to be proposing abstract utopias, which they then proceed to vigorously dismantle. Dinerstein and Pitts typify this line of attack,[22] but it is also shared by others.[23] These kinds of criticisms betray a lack of understanding of the ways that post-work texts use utopianism, and – as we’ve seen above – this has contributed to mischaracterisations of the content of these utopias themselves.


Instead of dealing in abstract utopias – conceived as detailed end points for political projects – utopia functions, in texts like Inventing the Future and The Problem with Work, as a vector rather than a terminus; utopian thinking is here a tool for orientation and mobilization – a means of thinking outside the present – rather than anything like a fully-detailed, implementable programme. We should remember that one of Inventing the Future’s aims was to reinstall more ambitious, long-term hegemonic thinking into the left project – reacting in particular to the notion that having ‘no demands’ was a radical gesture. As the title itself suggests, Inventing the Future alludes to the non-givenness of a future societal state, its historically-constructed nature, and thus aims to preclude any notion that abstract utopias are quasi-inevitable developments.


Attempts to envision a broad direction for more emancipatory futures are indeed often combined, in the post-work texts here discussed, with more immanent thinking and an investment in directional demands – particularly in the more policy-focused post-work output. We might reference such things as a four-day week, socialised childcare facilities, sectoral collective bargaining, and so on, in this context. These directional demands – that have a much more ‘realistic’ potential – are one reason why post-work themes have gained traction amongst policy makers as well as the academic left: they are partly speaking in a language that this level of organizational ecology can understand and use, whilst also gesturing to something broader and more radical.


This understanding of utopian functionality particularly helps us situate basic income within post-work discourse. For many post-work thinkers, basic income is largely framed as a lever, rather than an endpoint, in the same way the wage (for housework) was in Silvia Federici’s early work. Basic income in these texts is perhaps best understood as part of an updated welfare system – something that Srnicek and Williams explicitly propose. Of course, the welfare state is an ambiguous political institution; as Stuart Hall noted, the welfare state ‘both achieved something in a reformist direction for the working class and became an instrument in disciplining it’[24]. In consonance with Hall’s nuance, post-work support for a basic income stems from its potential for ‘expanding’ welfare support – to become more generous and more universal, thereby diminishing, via increased unconditionality, the paternalism that dogged the Keynesian welfare state that precedes it. At the same time – and here is the crucial detail – ‘welfare state + UBI’ is clearly not the final horizon (or ‘abstract utopia’) of post-work politics, and would require further transformation, built on struggle, campaigning and proposal.


Is UBI a ‘totalising’, ‘bad’ utopia then, as Dinerstein and Pitts suggest? Not in any of the visions of the future we’ve touched on in the course of this article. This misunderstanding can be framed as a problem of the particular time-horizon of these non-reformist reforms. To list some post-work affiliated texts, none of The Refusal of Work, Inventing the Future, The Problem of Work, or Utopia for Realists really envisage an immanent world where there is no more waged work and incomes are supplied solely from the state; the ‘abstract utopia’ of zero waged work and full UBI does not dominate here. It may be that critics of post-work are overlooking the notion of a nearer future as it plays out in the literature – a future in which a basic income would exist alongside waged work (rather than as its total replacement). What happens to the employer-employee (capital-labour) relation, when, for example, the threat of unemployment is diminished? What capacities might people want to actualise now that material needs are more easily met? These possibilities – which are markedly different from present conditions, but not abstract in their content – are interesting to those pursuing transitional projects away from neoliberalism and ultimately towards shifting power away from capital. They are left undiscussed if we either deal in abstract, distant futures (that no one, in reality, has proposed) or in absolutely present (and often constricting) possibilities.


We should also note that post-work utopianism does not rule out a social movements focus of the kind Dinerstein advocates in some of her other writings, either;[25] indeed, one strength of recent progressive thinking is its attentiveness to building power at various scales, and noting with the tensions that arise from this. Recall that in Inventing the Future different kinds of organization, and ecologies of organisations, are seen as necessary to achieve a powerful political project. The authors are proposing that post-work demands can and should be part of the guiding force in future left organising – and this is because work effects everyone, whether you ‘have’ a job or not. In The Shock Doctrine of the Left – evidently a book born of reflection upon Inventing the Future’s themes – Graham Jones argues compellingly that different strategies and actors must act in a kind of independent-accordance in order to achieve different goals and to keep each other in check: the grassroots pushing the party in perpetually more radical directions, for example.


Lastly there is a false suggestion, in some recent critical reactions, that post-work is a project that simply assumes that its demands, and the utopia of a shorter working week, will come about quasi-naturally. In other words, that political change will happen without political struggle. Thompson expresses his criticism as follows: ‘If we want less work, as in a shorter working week or work sharing, the labour movement and its allies are going to have to fight for it, rather than expect it to arrive on the back of an army of robots’. Again, this partly ignores the very purposes of the texts in question. Weeks, Srnicek, Williams, Frayne and others are making the case for why the reduction of toil could and should guide our political visions of the future. They are making this case against the widespread ‘dogma of work’ that prescribes the idea that progress is simply more jobs, or just higher wages; a political horizon, we should remember, that has dominated labour movements for decades. None of these authors necessarily presume that the shorter working week will come easily, or without labour struggles, but the purpose of their texts is to start the conversation around working time and desirable futures once again, inside and outside of the labour movement. Indeed, Inventing the Future dedicates its chapter on ‘building power’ to the need for political struggle to achieve progressive aims and attempts to detail how this might be achieved.



The arguments associated with post-work politics are by no means unproblematic. There is still much to be thought through, sifted out, and challenged. It is therefore vital that critics test out these ideas and subject them to thorough scrutiny. The responses so far demonstrate an encouraging interest in, and willingness to start grappling with, the material. As our discussion here has indicated, however, there is still considerable scope for further scholarly intervention in this area; the who, what, and how of recent leftist post-work theorizing continue to be mischaracterized and misunderstood.

[1] Dinerstain, A & Pitts, F.H. ‘From post-work to post-capitalism? Discussing the basic income and struggles for alternative forms of social reproduction’, Journal of Labour and Society, 2018, 21 471–491. Available at:  [Accessed 05/01/2019]

[2] Dinerstain, A & Pitts, F.H., p. 475.

[3] Dinerstain, A & Pitts, F.H., p. 475. Accusations of technological determinism have been levelled much more frequently at Mason. See Christian Fuchs ‘Henryk Grossmann 2.0: A Critique of Paul Mason’s Book “PostCapitalism: A Guide to Our Future”’, tripleC 14(1), 2016, pp. 232-243.

[4] Srnicek and Williams’s Inventing the Future does in fact touch on the topic of social reproduction, but only briefly.

[5] Dinerstain, A & Pitts, F.H., p. 474.

[6] Helen Hester, ‘Helen Hester: After Work: What’s Left and Who Cares?’ Available here:

[7] Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams, Inventing the Future, London: Verso. 2015.

[8] David Frayne, The Refusal of Work. London: Pluto. 2015.

[9] Helen Hester and Nick Srnicek, ‘The Crisis of Social Reproduction and the End of Work’, OpenMind, 2018, available at: [accessed 5/1/19]. Helen Hester and Nick Srnicek, After Work, London: Verso. 2021.

[10] Kathi Weeks, The Problem With Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics and Postwork Imaginaries. Durham: Duke University Press. 2011.

[11] Kathi Week, ‘Social Reproduction, Neoliberal Crisis, and the Problem with Work: A Conversation with Kathi Weeks’, Viewpoint Magazine. Available here: [accessed on 18/04/19]

[12] Frederick Pitts, Huw Thomas and Kate Bales, ‘To be a productive worker is not luck but misfortune’. Futures of Work, Issue 1, 2018. Available here: [accessed 18/04/19]

[13] Ibid.

[14] For another example, see Anton Jäger, ‘Why “Post-Work” Doesn’t Work’, Jacobin. Available here: [accessed 18/04/19]

[15] Paul Thompson, ‘The Refusal of Work: Past, Present and Future’.

[16] Dinerstain, A & Pitts, F.H., p. 475.

[17] Frederick Pitts, Huw Thomas and Kate Bales, ‘To be a productive worker is not luck but misfortune’.

[18] Harry Pitts and Ana Dinerstein, ‘Postcapitalism, Basic Income and the End of Work: A Critique and Alternative’, Bath: University of Bath (2017). Available at: [accessed on 5/1/19]

[19] Will Stronge, ‘Misconstruing Post-Work’, Autonomy, 2017. Available here:

[20] Frederick Pitts, Huw Thomas and Kate Bales, ‘To be a productive worker is not luck but misfortune’.

[21] Paul Thompson, ‘The Refusal of Work: Past, Present and Future’ Futures of Work, Issue 1, 2018, available at: [accessed 5/1/19]

[22] Dinerstain, A & Pitts, F.H. ‘From post-work to post-capitalism? Discussing the basic income and struggles for alternative forms of social reproduction’

[23] See Ana Dinerstein, ‘Work, Utopia and the Reproduction of Life’, in Futures of Work, Issue 1, 2018, available at:; See also Thompson’s article (already cited), where he asks the question, ‘why do we have to have a politics of work based on utopias at all?’, suggesting an understanding of utopianism solely in terms of what Weeks calls ‘traditional’, that is static, images of utopia. Thompson, ‘The Refusal of Work: Past, Present and Future’.

[24] Stuart Hall, The Hard Road to Renewal. London: Verso (1988), p. 158.

[25] Ana Dinerstein, ‘Work, Utopia and the Reproduction of Life’.

Helen is Associate Professor of Media and Communication at the University of West London. Her research interests include technofeminism, social reproduction, and post-work politics, and she is a member of the international feminist working group Laboria Cuboniks. Her books include Beyond Explicit: Pornography and the Displacement of Sex (SUNY Press, 2014), Xenofeminism (Polity, 2018), and After Work: The Politics of Free Time (Verso, 2021, with Nick Srnicek)

Will is Autonomy’s Director of Research. With Helen Hester, he is currently writing Post-work (Bloomsbury 2021).