With the exception of sleep, humans spend more of their lifetimes on work than any other activity. It is central to our economy, society, and the family. It underpins our finances and our sense of meaning in life. Given the overriding importance of work, we need to recognize a profound transformation in the nature of work that is significantly altering lives: the incoming tidal wave of shadow work.
Shadow work includes all the unpaid tasks we do on behalf of businesses and organizations. It has slipped into our routines stealthily; most of us do not realize how much of it we are already doing, even as we pump our own gas, scan and bag our own groceries, execute our own stock trades, and build our own unassembled furniture. But its presence is unmistakable, and its effects far-reaching.
Fueled by the twin forces of technology and skyrocketing personnel costs, shadow work has taken a foothold in our society. Lambert terms its prevalence as middle-class serfdom,” and examines its sources in the invasion of robotics, the democratization of expertise, and new demands on individuals at all levels of society. The end result? A more personalized form of consumption, a great social leveling (pedigrees don’t help with shadow work!), and the weakening of communities as robotics reduce daily human interaction.
Shadow Work offers a field guide to this new phenomenon. It shines a light on these trends now so prevalent in our daily lives and, more importantly, offers valuable insight into how to counter their effects. It will be essential reading to anyone seeking to understand how their day got so fulland how to deal with the ubiquitous shadow work that surrounds them.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I bought this book for a friend who requested it AND I read it first before I wrapped it ... because exactly what this book talks about is exactly what I've noticed happening in my own life!!! And what is that, you ask? I've noticed that it is taking me 3 times longer to accomplish the same results as it did 10 or 15 years ago!!! I've been noticing this and it's been frustrating me because I haven't understood WHY ... I'm an EXTREMELY efficient "worker/producer" type and it simply has made no sense to me at all. Reading Mr. Lambert's book explained this recognized phenomenon in all its manifestations in our lives today ... some of which I totally hadn't seen ... but in almost every paragraph, I saw the TRUTH of what's going on. We assemble our own furniture (unpaid work), deal directly with the manufacturers or distributors with customer complaints (unpaid work), design our own stuff and click "Send" on it (unpaid work), order our own stuff (unpaid work), return our...
Not as impressed as the NPR interview made me believe it would be. He kept using the term "shadow work" over and over again. Probably added a few pages to the book by repeating that term so many times. I think the idea for the book was good but it veered off subject so many times for many pages.
As but one example - there was a good portion of a chapter devoted to raising children and managing a family as "shadow work". Not really shadow work in my opinion. That to me is work that has measurable dividends when your kids become financially successful.
It takes very little work, shadow or otherwise, to read and enjoy Craig Lambert’s new book on how we spend a lot of our waking hours. In exploring shadow work -- all the unpaid, time-consuming tasks we do scarcely without thinking about it -- Lambert gives us a compelling overview of contemporary life and how we have ended up pumping our own gas, ringing up our own groceries, and exposing ourselves to all the big and little brothers who want us to buy, buy, buy. (This review is part of that shadow work.) As for the actual work... Having spent a year as a young boy on my grandfather’s farm in the west of Ireland in the late forties, I have a good idea of what it takes to grow and make your own food -- from churning butter and baking bread to growing potatoes and butchering a hog. By contrast, ringing up and bagging your share of the American cornucopia hardly seems like a great exertion. But that’s not Lambert’s point. Rather, the shadow work...
The authorised South African distributor of this product is under no obligation to honour the manufacture's guarantees/warranties or to provide after-sales service.
Please note that this item is imported from the USA, and is designed to be used in the USA. In addition, if the unit is powered it will come with a US plug and an adapter/transformer may be required. Please click here for more information on power requirements, or check with us if you are unsure or need any assistance!
Please also note that certain items cannot be imported, these include Alcohol, Animals, Batteries, Flammable Materials, Currency, Food, Furs, Chemicals, Explosives, Medications, Plants, Seeds, Supplements, Pressurized Cans, Tactical Equipment, Vitamins, Weaponry and Weaponry Accessories. In these cases, the item and information is displayed for reference purposes only. If you are not sure if we are permitted to bring an item, please send us an e-mail with a link to the item to confirm.
Please also ensure that you are ordering the correct item for your particular application as returns to the USA are costly. Product reviews are also provided for most of our items, which can give you a good idea for possible things to look out for and the quality of the item. By clicking Add to Cart, you are confirming that the item is correct and you accept the conditions listed here.