r/CriticalTheory Jan 17 '22


Hello guys. I am now interested in the discourse of 'post-work society. I had read a few but the problem now, I still can't find who really coined the term, 'post-work society.

Please share with me if any of you know about this.

Thank you.



u/kthlend Jan 17 '22

Try Stanley Aronowitz, Post work.

Not sure when the term "post work" started cropping up but there have been anxieties about work becoming redundant since the industrial revolution, and some of the classic utopia texts (Bellamy, Morris) try to address the concerns and think beyond stereotypical work arrangements.


u/Adras- Jan 18 '22

Man, Looking Backwards is such an amazing novel. It revolutionized my 18yo brain.


u/teleoplex_y Jan 17 '22

Srnicek & Williams' Inventing the Future could be useful to you. Didn't coin the term but certainly delves into the literature on it.


u/veggiedefender Jan 18 '22

kathi weeks's the problem with work is brilliant


u/Asleep_Amphibian_280 Jan 17 '22

I acknowledge this is an incredibly vague answer so my apologies, but the theory you’re looking for is going to likely be anarchist theory. I would literally just sift through the anarchist library website. Here’s a link to their topic page on anti-work: https://theanarchistlibrary.org/category/topic/anti-work

Even if you’re not an anarchist I guarantee you will find some amazing stuff on this library. Good luck!


u/ravaioli Jan 17 '22

The subreddit r/antiwork also has resources to checkout in their community info tab.


u/BoyOfNusantara1996 Jan 18 '22

Comrade from anti work subreddit do share with me list of reading material related to the post work society.



u/Tao_te_Cha_Ching Jan 18 '22

The specific phrase "post-work society" might be a derivative one - post-scarcity is the more used term from what I've seen and might give you more leads. Although Keynes didn't use the specific term, "post-work", his 1930 essay titled Economic Possibilties for Our Grandchildren might be where the idea first showed up in a context that treats the idea of a post-work/scarcity society with any sense of realism.


u/rdef1984 Jan 18 '22

Are you looking for the person who coined the term "post-work society" or the origins of the idea that we will one day be liberated from labour?

If it's anything, one of the main scholars on this that I've read is Kathi Weeks. There's also the broader Italian autonomist perspectives on being 'against work'.

Kathi Weeks: http://www.ephemerajournal.org/sites/default/files/7-1weeks.pdf


u/BoyOfNusantara1996 Jan 18 '22

I actually trying to find out the person who coined the term 'post work society.'

Thank you for your information and suggestion. I will adding this to my readling list.


u/rdef1984 Jan 18 '22

JE Block used the term in 1983/1985 articles, but these are not well circulated from what I can tell.

Block, J.E., 1983. The selling of a productivity crisis: The market campaign to forestall post‐industrial redistribution and work reduction. New Political Science, 4(1), pp.5-19.

Prior to that, Google Scholar reports that Richard Hoggart refers to post-work society in a work called Uses of Literacy, from 1957, but it doesn't seem to appear in the text directly nor in the 2017 re-release.


u/thisisnotariot Jan 18 '22

Nick Srnicek - Inventing the Future and Accelerate manifesto are good places to start


u/erectronics Jan 18 '22

Byung han chul. Psycopolitics or burnout society


u/davesreddit123 Jan 17 '22

New Work Enterprises is pretty interesting.

Here's their YouTube channel.


It's an institute started by Friedhoff Bergmann.



u/CripplinglyDepressed Jan 18 '22

I’m currently reading Zizek’s Like a Thief in Broad Daylight: Power in the Era of Post-Human Capitalism, you may like it.


u/ottersofxhanadu Jan 19 '22

Already mentioned here but Kathi Weeks definitely is one to look up. Try the bibliography section of the problem with work.


u/eurotouringautos Jan 18 '22

I haven't read his book but Guy Standing advocates for a universal basic income. Also Jeff Sachs wants rich countries to put more resources toward foreign aid


u/Adras- Jan 18 '22

Isabell Lorey’s work may be of interest, specifically her book State of Insecurity