Week 5-Work and Consumption (class).pptx

13 how influential is work to indiv idual well being

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How influential is work to indiv idual well-being? (1) Large amount of time spent on work. (2) How one lives is in large part affe cted by one’s work. (3) Work impacts physical health (4) Work impacts mental health (5) Work partially defines self-identit y 14
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15 But, is work something that I must do in order to lead the good life? Is it possible to have the good life by doing no work? How central is work to the good life?
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Voltaire “Work banishes those three great evils, bo redom, vice, and poverty.” ( Candide ) Russell Work is “a preventive of boredom”. “It g ives chances of success and opportunities f or ambitions.” ( The Conquest of Happiness , Chapter 15) 16 How central is work to the good life?
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Bertrand Russell “Provided work is not exce ssive in amount, even the d ullest work is to most peop le less painful than idlene ss”. ( The Conquest of Happiness , Chapter 15) 17
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How central is work to the good life? Positively, work Enables people to earn a living Provides a temporary structure to the day Allows people to participate in a collecti ve effort, Gives people some measure of status and id entity from their work roles 18
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19 How central is work to the good life? Unemployment can be devastating to wellbeing. Mixed symptoms of distress, depression, anxiety, psychosomatic symptoms, etc
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How central is work to the good life? However, Aristotle had different views “we work to have leisure, on which happine ss depends.” Work - realm of necessity Leisure - the realm of virtue and citizenship Leisure - not idleness or free time (compensat ion for work) 20
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How central is work to the good life? Marx: labor for necessities or profit vs. labor for freedom or self-realization; Leisure is the foundation of free labor 21
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Question: Would you choose to work even i f you are not financially requi red to do so? 22
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A famous study by Morse and Weiss (1955) 23 ( Nancy C. Morse and Robert S. Weiss, ‘The Function and Meaning of Work and the Job, American Sociological Review , Vol. 20, No. 2 (Apr., 1955), pp. 191-198. ) Similar surveys give similar results over decades in U.S. 70%-80% respondents said they would keep working. (Gini, ‘Work: the process and the person’, p.650)
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24 Okay. I should work. But, there are numerous kinds of work! Work could be good or bad. How can I tell which ones are good and which are bad? How should I choose?
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What is an ideal work? Is good work objective, subjective, or bo th? Work as a job, as a career, or as a calli ng? “Love what you do” or “Do what you lov e”? 25 What is an ideal work?
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26 How would different theories of well-being a nswer this question? Hedonism Desire-fulfillment theory Happiness as an emotional state Objective list Human flourishing
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What is an ideal work? “Far and away the best prize that life h as to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” Theodore Roosevelt 27
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What job characteristics are psychologically good for the worker? An objective account 28 (Oxford Handbook of Happiness, p.734) Good work Good degree of personal control and autonomy Opportunities for skill use and acquisition Variety and meaningfulness of tasks
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  • Fall '17
  • Franz Mang
  • Personal life, Simple living, Oxford Handbook of Happiness

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