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Berry on work

03/25/05 | by [mail] | Categories: culture/news

What are People For?The great question that hovers over this issue, one that we have dealt with mainly by indifference, is the question of what people are for. Is their greatest dignity in unemployment? Is the obsolescence of human beings now our social goal? One would conclude so from our attitude toward work, especially the manual work necessary to the long-term preservation of the land, and from our rush toward mechanization, automation, and computerization. In a country that puts an absolute premium on labor-saving measures, short workdays, and retirement, should there be any surprise at permanence of unemployment and welfare dependency? Those are only different names for our national ambitions (Berry 125).

Again, I have a hard time agreeing with this. For one, I like computers. I like work-saving devices. But I have a hard time denying that there's some truth in what he says here, too.



Are most people working fewer hours now than they did before the information age?

Heath [Visitor]http://heath.brendoman.com03/26/05 @ 05:24
[Member]  http://www.brendoman.com/03/27/05 @ 21:14

I found this in the American Sociological Association Newsletter

“For married couples, the combined work week has increased from an average of about 53 hours in 1970 to 63 hours in 2000. The explanation for this increase in work hours, given that the individual person’s work week has not changed much, is that 30 years ago half of all married families had only a male breadwinner. By 2000, this group sunk to one quarter. The two-earner family put in close to 82 working hours in 2000 compared to 78 hours in 1970.”

I am aware that this is not definitive, but it’s all I have time for right now. (The weather’s great for gardening today)
The truth is that we spend time working so we can afford to buy and operate meachines and gizmos of all kinds. Human beings are, I think, in the service of machines, and not the other way around.

Heath [Visitor]http://heath.brendoman.com03/28/05 @ 07:37
[Member]  http://www.brendoman.com/03/28/05 @ 08:33

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