Following in the wake of the 2008 global economic crisis and the subsequent widespread discrediting of the neo–liberal political agenda (and perhaps capitalism itself), the meaning of work for the multitude labouring in and around the large corporations of the west has arrived at a peculiar juncture. On the one hand, there has been a massive divestment in the idea of work. Compared to yesteryear when it was one of the key icons of social good even among a militant workforce – and usually cast in very masculinist terms – today the ideology of work holds very little progressive currency or legitimacy. People avoid it when they can, mainstream movies deride it as a matter of course and even those in charge of officially sanctioning employed work only do so with a glint of irony. To quote the sentiments of one senior management consultant recently interviewed: ‘work is shit’ (Fleming 2011: 22). On the other hand, at the very moment work has truly lost its ideological shine, it has ironically become a socio–economic force par excellence, more influential now than ever, determining ever increasing aspects of our lives both in and outside the formal place of employment (to the point where even children and the unemployed find themselves obsessed with it).
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