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Bullshits jobs

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  18,325 ratings  ·  2,632 reviews
Alors que le progrès technologique a toujours été vu comme l'horizon d'une libération du travail, notre société moderne repose en grande partie sur l'aliénation de la majorité des employés de bureau. Beaucoup sont amenés à dédier leur vie à des tâches inutiles, sans réel intérêt et vides de sens, tout en ayant pleinement conscience de la superficialité de leur contribution ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published May 15th 2018 by Les liens qui libèrent (first published May 1st 2018)
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David Ask the publicist! (i.e., I didn't write that).

Me, I don't think anyone needs permission, obviously, I think what they were trying to convey was more …more
Ask the publicist! (i.e., I didn't write that).

Me, I don't think anyone needs permission, obviously, I think what they were trying to convey was more "encouragement" - i.e., if you think there's something terribly wrong, well, actually, you're probably right, and a lot of other people think exactly the same thing, you're not alone, maybe we can all get together and do something.(less)
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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Trevor
You need to get hold of this book. I’ve been recommending it to just about everyone I know.

The author was asked by a new journal / magazine if he would write an article that would be a bit controversial and so he wrote one about how so many people today work in bullshit jobs – and then the journal’s website crashed as a million people went about downloading the article.

I was a bit worried when I started this book because I really don’t like shaming people for the work they do. You know, it’s b
...more
carol.
I was expecting something along the pop-sociology lines of Malcolm Gladwell, and what I got was something far more profound. I wandered my way through affirmation, skepticism, analysis, comprehension, understanding and depression, so take that as a recommendation if you like. I don’t think I have the tools to critique it appropriately, but much of what Graber writes resonates.

The book originates from an essay Graber wrote in 2013, “based on a hunch” about the phenomenon of bullshit jobs, or, mor
...more
Mario the lone bookwolf
There are 2 huge categories of bullshit jobs, the once we already know about, representative jobs, bureaucrats, people working not even part of the time they are at the workplace, all those professions people tend to see as great if one is lazy, or as depressing if one wants to do something productive, and as a good reason for envy if someone has a real, hard, full-time job with stress and not knowing how to do this all in just 40 hours a week.

The other, hidden, part of bullshit jobs is strong
...more
Roy Lotz
Economies around the world have, increasingly, become vast engines for producing nonsense.

Reading this was cathartic. Like so many people, I, too, have experienced the suffering that is a useless job—a job that not only lacks any real benefit to society, but which also does not even benefit the company. (Lucky for me, I am now a teacher, which, for all its unpleasant aspects, almost never feels useless.) Even though I got a lot of reading and writing done on the job, the feeling of total fut
...more
Otto Lehto
This book is about how some jobs are worthless and don't need to exist. Perhaps this book itself is a good example of a worthless job that didn't need to be done and doesn't need to exist?

I like David Graeber. His book "Debt" was phenomenal. The book, however, is far from his best. It expands on the short 2013 essay, "On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs," which is still a provocation worth reading. But it didn't need to be expanded into a book. So the worst part of the book is that it is complete
...more
Gabrielle
“We could easily all be putting in a twenty – or even fifteen-hour workweek. Yet for some reason, we as a society have collectively decided it’s better to have millions of human beings spending years of their lives pretending to type into spreadsheets or preparing mind maps for PR meetings than freeing them to knit sweaters, play with their dogs, start a garage band, experiment with new recipes or sit in cafés arguing about politics, and gossiping about their friends’ complex polyamorous love af ...more
Prerna
I've been carrying this book around my workplace for the past three weeks. I read it during lunch, coffee breaks, while walking (which seems to be a new, eccentric habit I've picked up, because 1. I do not want to engage in conversation and 2. It's safe within the campus, since vehicles (the very, very few existing ones) are only allowed to move at the speed of 20 m/s and people mostly use cycles here anyway) and each time I've had someone rudely interrupt me (academia is severely lacking in soc ...more
☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣
This made my day :) It's definitely a fav forever. Quirky and cool.

We start rating calc at 5 star max.

> Some of the things innovative. Seriously, have my star drives never been built because people around the world have been too busy creating BS PPTs and simply had no time to spend building devices for my space travel? F***!!!!!!! (+1 star)

> Other points felt like BS themselves and made me feel that the author misses the point a bit:
1. If people are ok being with themselves, on their own, with
...more
Thomas
I so appreciated this book for making me think hard about jobs and why they exist. David Graeber focuses Bullshit Jobs: A Theory on the origins and implications of bullshit jobs, or jobs that do not serve any real purpose in society. He does an excellent job describing how these jobs perpetuate capitalism by keeping people employed for the sake of keeping people employed, as well as how these jobs negatively affect people’s psychological well-being. Graeber draws thoughtful and relevant connecti ...more
Aris Catsambas
Sep 01, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Concise summary: the book is a 280-page too long rambling mess consisting of half-baked ideas & inconsequential anecdotes. The author is political where there is no call for politics, and philosophically & mathematically inept.

I was planning to write a long critique, but I realised that to write an exhaustive review of everything that is wrong with the book I would need to write one of longer length. Instead, I will point out that the book goes off the mark starting with the very definition of a
...more
Tom Quinn
What would happen were this entire class of people to simply disappear? Say what you like about nurses, garbage collectors, or mechanics, it's obvious that were they to vanish in a puff of smoke, the results would be immediate and catastrophic. A world without teachers or dockworkers would soon be in trouble, and even one without science-fiction writers or ska musicians would clearly be a lesser place. (xxi)


You had me at "ska musicians." But our author pivots quickly:

Writing this book also serve
...more
David Wineberg
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Facebook Salvation for BS Jobholders

The astounding number of hours spent weekly by social media users is a direct result of bullshit jobs, says David Graeber, in his book of the same name. In this context, the average smartphone being consulted 221 times a day is no longer unbelievable. Graeber has uncovered a whole new field for research: jobs where nothing real happens.

We often think of neoliberalism as the era when companies are lean and mean, all the fat is excised and operations optimized.
...more
Wick Welker
Modern capitalism is rebranded feudalism.

There is so much to say about this book. Tl:dr: read this book. Read it soon because it will completely change your world view about employment, society and capitalism. Graeber takes his theory about bullshit jobs, which he lays out very well, and then expands it into a theory about the very fabric of our economy and how our corporate world has been fashioned into a modern-day feudal state where managerial lords preside over a vast and bloated private bur
...more
J. Sebastian
Jun 12, 2020 marked it as giveaway  ·  review of another edition
This book rubs salt into old wounds; it chips away at all my illusions of self-importance, and increases my doubts about how I have chosen to spend my life. Though I am paid very well, I have always felt unessential in the grand scheme of things. There is good reason that spiritually, emotionally, personally unfulfilling and unrewarding work should command higher wages––in essence the worker barters his life away in what he does––but it has often bothered me (like a thorn in the side) that after ...more
Morgan Blackledge
I have one.

Now I have the book.

Wholly cow.

This thing could not have come at a better time.

I needed it like a drink of cool clear water in a SoCal wild fire in a drought and a heat wave.

How so you ask?

Well.

You see.

I, like so many others…hate my job.

That’s right.

You heard me.

I hate my job.

I feel ashamed even saying that.

Because America and Capitalism.

But I do.

Not everything about it.

I’m a therpaist by training.

And I still see a few clients here and there.

And I completely LOVE IT.

It’s a
...more
Colleen
Having read and even cited [for a piece on the rise of extreme endurance sports over the past century] Graeber's original essay in Strike magazine, I eagerly preordered this book. I read it with a kind of surreptitious glee while attending college curriculum meetings and during my usual 4-hour commute, some days just go to said meetings, which consisted of adults with PhDs commenting on font size and whether to use the word "show" versus "demonstrate." But I digress.

It takes a lot for me at thi
...more
Mehrsa
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So I wasn't sold on the first half of this book--the diagnosis of bullshit jobs. But the last half or third, I read like 5 times because it's Graeber at his best--diagnosing the bullshit in the ways we talk about the economy and money and debt. The reason I didn't love the diagnosis is because I think someone being miserable in their work is so human and so expansive that it's just the human condition--we are all unhappy. However, what does the proliferation of finance do to businesses and the b ...more
Kevin
The Good:
Engaging a wider audience:
--What I appreciate most with Graeber’s books is his ability to take emancipatory history and theory, and play (there is no better word to describe the action) with ways to present them in accessible, engaging, and meaningful thought-experiments/narratives for a general audience (esp. in rich countries). Another review described the results succinctly as “[making] the strange, familiar, and the familiar, strange.”
--I like to think this is a principle of anarchi
...more
Daniel Clausen
Sep 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-of-2020
Before there was this book, the concept of “bullshit jobs” was examined extensively in a popular American film. I present to you “Office Space” (1999) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iiOE...

Watch the movie if you have a bullshit job!

I'll never forget this moment in 2006. I was working in Japan for a kid's English school. For that day, it was my job to pass out flyers for about two hours after I was done teaching. As I passed out flyers, I stood across from a woman who was wearing a sign made
...more
Fatman
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"This book hits a little too close to home", said the guy posting this review from work. ...more
Andrew
I have worked many bullshit jobs. I will work them in the future. This is what you do if you're of a certain caste. Notice I said caste not class, for a reason.

Simply put, this is a rallying cry, and should be treated as such. I really wish there was some more substantive data here, but I prefer to think of Graeber's style as polemical rather than academic, and books like this are what change public opinion, at the end of the day, and I want him to receive an audience.

Not because it's groundbrea
...more
Scott
Apr 26, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"This is not a book about a particular solution. It's a book about a problem . . . I hesitate to make policy suggestions . . . " -- page 270 (now he tells us -- with only fifteen pages left in the book!)

Bullshit Jobs has a great attention-grabbing, provocative title and some occasionally good stories from the interviewees who are all too aware that their various jobs are, well . . . see the title. However, this probably worked much better in its original format as an online article. Author Graeb
...more
Anna
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When ‘Bullshit Jobs’ was published, I initially wasn’t particularly eager to read it as I gathered it contained material familiar from Graeber’s previous work: an essay in Possibilities: Essays on Hierarchy, Rebellion, and Desire, his book The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy, and his initial article on the titular topic. Despite the clear structure, it outlines a looser theory than his other work, based on internet ethnography of uncertain representa ...more
Eric Lin
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this book. I loved Debt: The First 5,000 Years, and hoped for something closer to that, where Respected Anthropologist David Graeber walks us through the evolution of labor, and explains how we arrived at our current model. Unfortunately, we got David Graeber, "Researcher"* who spends the first half of his book reading comments and emails from people who read his original article in Strike! magazine, and the second half of his article trying to taxonomize, opine, conject, and ho ...more
Dan Connors
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-books
This is an eye-opening and subversive book, and changed the way I look at jobs. Politicians and economists are always touting how great jobs are- jobs can fix anything and make capitalism work like a charm. This book questions that assumption.

I'm giving this book five out of five stars because it opens up a new topic and asks strong questions that have not before been considered.

The definition of a bullshit job, in the author's opinion, is "a form of employment that is so completely pointless, u
...more
Carrie Poppy
Dec 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic. Made me want to read more by him. Also we should just give people money so they can stop ruining the world with the aching need to produce. OK anyway goodbye.
Nandakishore Mridula
I am sure you must have heard this management joke which originated some years ago, and is still popular on the net.
A big corporation recently hired several cannibals in the interest of cultural diversity. "You are all part of our team now," said the HR rep during the welcoming briefing. "You get all the usual benefits and you can go to the cafeteria for something to eat, but please don't eat any of the other employees."

The cannibals promised they would not. Four weeks later, their boss remar
...more
Zak
Dec 19, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Bullshit book based largely on anecdotal "evidence" and a small sample size of lazy, uninspired people who whine about being unfulfilled, but are too comfortable to actually change jobs or voluntarily seek out new challenges in their present roles. The author appears to carry a deep animus towards lawyers, financial types and seemingly anyone who is more successful or makes more money than him. On the other hand, people who have "real" jobs (read: mostly blue collar type work) are the genuine ge ...more
Ipsa
Jun 22, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5
I was first familiarised with the concept of Bullshit Jobs in my middle school days, way before it captured the imagination of pop-theory circles. It started when I had trouble explaining to my peers and teachers what it is exactly that my father does for a living. Over the years I saw the existential exhaustion sneak up on him deleteriously - an elemental exhaustion that is the heritage of anyone stuck centering their life around a fight-to-death for oxygen, for a mere survival of their fami
...more
Murtaza
In 2013, David Graeber published a captivating essay in Strike Magazine about the phenomenon of "Bullshit Jobs" (link: https://strikemag.org/bullshit-jobs/). The basic thesis was that entire industries employing tens of millions of people had been created that serve no purpose whatsoever. These jobs could all cease existing tomorrow without the broader society being affected at all, except perhaps for the better. Sprawlingly amorphous fields like the "financial services industry" employ countles ...more
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David Rolfe Graeber was an American anthropologist and anarchist.

On June 15, 2007, Graeber accepted the offer of a lectureship in the anthropology department at Goldsmiths College, University of London, where he currently holds the title of Reader in Social Anthropology.

He was an associate professor of anthropology at Yale University, although Yale controversially declined to rehire him, and his t
...more

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