Lost in Work: Escaping Capitalism

Amelia Horgan



  • Pluto Press
  • 2021
  • ISBN 9780745340913
  • 176 pages
  • Softcover
  • 19.8 × 12.9 × 1.5 cm

‚Work hard, get paid.‘ It’s simple. Self-evident. But it’s also a lie – at least for most of us. For people today, the old assumptions are crumbling; hard work in school no longer guarantees a secure, well-paying job in the future. Far from a gateway to riches and fulfillment, ‚work‘ means precarity, anxiety and alienation.

Amelia Horgan poses three big questions: what is work? How does it harm us? And what can we do about it? While abolishing work altogether is not the answer, Lost in Work shows that when we are able to take control of our workplaces, we become less miserable, and can work towards the transformative goal of experimenting with ‚work‘ as we know it.

Amelia Horgan is a writer, researcher and activist. She is currently writing a PhD on work in the feminist political imaginary at the University of Essex. She has written for various publications, including Tribune, the Guardian and VICE, and is involved in various campaigning initiatives, including London Young Labour.


Introduction: Work’s fantasy
1. Work, capitalism and capitalist work
2. Contesting ‘work’
3. The paradox of new work
4. What does work do to us as individuals?
5. Jobification nation: When play is serious business
6. What does work do to society?
7. Phantoms and slackers: Resistance at work
8. Getting together: Organised labour and the workers’ dream
9. Time off: Resistance to work
Conclusion: Getting to work

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