I’m always searching for the accessible narrative within social science and economic literature. For someone with an interest (who took only intro sociology and econ courses as an undergrad), Bullshit Jobs is the perfect mass-market tome to consult. I’ve always been interested in the concept of meaningfulness of acts within society, and if those actions are truly needed, or just simply superfluous wastes of time. Bullshit Jobs seems to get right to the point.
In “Bullshit Jobs” (Simon & Schuster), David Graeber, an anthropologist now at the London School of Economics, seeks a diagnosis and epidemiology for what he calls the “useless jobs that no one wants to talk about.” He thinks these jobs are everywhere. By all the evidence, they are. His book, which has the virtue of being both clever and charismatic, follows a much circulated essay that he wrote, in 2013, to call out such occupations. Some, he thought, were structurally extraneous: if all lobbyists or corporate lawyers on the planet disappeared en masse, not even their clients would miss them. Others were pointless in opaque ways. Soon after the essay appeared, in a small journal, readers translated it into a dozen languages, and hundreds of people, Graeber reports, contributed their own stories of work within the bullshit sphere.
Until today, it was #4 on my to-read list. Just bought the Audible. Starting tomorrow.