After Work: A History of the Home and the Fight for Free Time

Hester, Helen/ Srnicek, Nick


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The future of work is not coding but caring – high-touch rather than high-tech. The fastest growing jobs revolve around cooking, cleaning and caring. And around half of all work is caring work done unpaid in people’s families and homes. But when we think about work, we still tend to think about offices and factories rather than hospitals and homes – the places where care work takes place. If the struggle against work is the struggle for free time, we need to talk about reproductive work.

In this groundbreaking book, Hester and Srnicek argue that we must recognise reproductive labour as work, reduce this work as much as possible, and redistribute any remaining work as fairly as possible if we want to value autonomy for all. After Work looks at the history of how reproductive labour took the shape that it does today. Considering the failed promises of labour-saving technologies and the ever-rising expectations of cleanliness and care, and the trajectory of the single-family house as the container of domestic technologies, Hester and Srnicek present a fascinating history of the fight for free time, and new possible terrains for its future-public luxury, temporal sovereignty and family abolition.

Format: Hardback
Pages: 272
Imprint: Verso
Publication date: 18/07/2023

ISBN: 9781786633071 Category: