Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Labour, Work

This week we focused on labour and work, and what the difference is.
"Labour" is defined by Green (1968) as a humans whose "energies are spent in response to necessity, under the aegis of forces outside himself, forces that he does not set in motion and cannot control." My understanding of this is that labour is something that we are required to do, is a necessity of life e.g. eating, gathering food, finding shelter etc. This definition has shown me that my activity, poker, does not fit under this category.

"Work" is defined as that activity which produces the artificial world in which we live in... making it what we want it to be, rather than what has to be for survival (Arendt, 1958). My understanding of this definition is that work is anything that we CHOOSE to do, rather than for necessity and survival. This has shown me that my activity, poker, fits under this category.

I would say that poker fits under work as it is something that myself, and I'm sure most others do for fun. I can choose whether I want to play poker or not, and if i do not choose to, then my life does not depend on it (whereas labour is a matter of survival or not).
Some could flip this around and say that poker could fit under labour too. There are those out there who play poker for a living, and this could be there only source of income. Therefore, it is done for survival in those cases (if you have no money, you can't buy food. If you can't buy food, you can't eat).

Anyways I'm off now, survival mode has kicked in and I need to eat :)

Reference List;
Arendt, H. (1958). The Human condition. New York, Doubleday Anchor Books. in Butler, M. 2011, lecture notes on Work, in Participation in Occupation 2 (BT238001)
Green, T. (1968). Work, Leisure and the American Schools. New York:, Random House

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for clarifying what labour is and what work is! was very helpful,i understand now that labour is a must, key tool to survival, and work is what we chooooose to do rather a necessity.