On The Leisure Track: Book Summary and Chapter Titles

woman sipping tea and relaxingCultivating leisure. In a culture held in thrall to the  Protestant work ethic, the concept of consciously cultivating a culture of leisure sounds suspect to many people, and conjures up images of  frivolity and uselessness. One of the objections to unconditional basic income, for example, is the notion that too much leisure will lead to degeneracy. If people aren’t made to work for a living, so the argument  goes, they’ll waste away in front of the computer or TV. The  prevalence of this sort of rhetoric leaves us ill-equipped to understand what leisure time is, and why it is so valuable.

Leisure is much more than free time, and can in fact serve as a vital  and oft-overlooked form of resistance to an ecocidal, genocidal, white supremacist, misogynist, homophobic, ableist, work-til-you-drop culture in which millions are structurally coerced into wage labor jobs for lack of viable alternatives.

Among the many reasons leisure has inherent value is that it provides freedom to do things that matter – things that we care about – whether or not they pay. What most of us call  “work” is actually wage labor: selling our hours to employers in exchange for money to survive.  A culture of leisure, by contrast, would  provide freedom to work on our own terms, and to enjoy ample leisure as well.

On The Leisure Track: Rethinking the Job Culture is my in-progress book manuscript about the importance of cultivating a culture of leisure, and some of the tools and methods we can use to help us along the way:

  • unconditional basic income
  • decolonizing our time
  • dismantling the Puritan work ethic and the ways we internalize it
  • countering get-a-job nonsense
  • embracing gift culture
  • listening to the land
  • properly valuing care work, housekeeping, and emotional labor

…and other cage-rattling to help build a world beyond ‘earning a living’.

Chapter Titles

Introduction: My Story

Chapter One
“I Need a Job, But I Don’t Want One”: On Earning a Living as Structural Violence

Chapter Two
Paths of Least Resistance: Conventional Employment and the Lie of Financial Independence

Chapter Three
Do What You Love, Lazy Bums Who Refuse to Work, and Other Lies of Job Culture

Chapter Four
Decolonizing Our Time: Un-Jobbing and Unlearning the Protestant Work Ethic

Chapter Five
“Is Nothing Sacred?” On Doing Nothing and Leisure as Resistance

Chapter Six
Emotional Labor: A Feminist Valuation

Chapter Seven
Working in the Gift: Gift Culture, Basic Income, and Listening to the Land

Toward a World Beyond Earning a Living


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