Time without Work: People Who Are Not Working Tell Their Stories, How They Feel, What They Do, How They Survive

Time without Work: People Who Are Not Working Tell Their Stories, How They Feel, What They Do, How They Survive

Time without Work: People Who Are Not Working Tell Their Stories, How They Feel, What They Do, How They Survive

Time without Work: People Who Are Not Working Tell Their Stories, How They Feel, What They Do, How They Survive

Excerpt

Time without work—dreaded and longed for, sometimes simultaneously—certainly one of the least discussed, most poorly understood experiences we can have.

What do people do when they have time without work? How do they feel about themselves and their lives? How do they make ends meet? What is it like not to work in this society where occupation is such a vital part of identity?

Curious about these questions at a time when unemployment was rising dramatically and the only information about not working was in statistical abstracts, Marilyn and I conceived of the idea of doing a book in which people would tell their own stories, in their words, of what it is like not to work. The more people knew about an experience, the better equipped they would be for dealing with it, we reasoned.

Our interest was more than casual, as we were both about to have time without work ourselves. It was not to be our first such experience. During the sixties and early seventies, before we knew each other, we had been among the tens of thousands of people actively questioning the meaning of work in a changing society. Neither one of us believed that submission to a stifling, deadening routine was an acceptable trade-off for . . .

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