by Helen Hester and Nick Srnicek
A timely manifesto for a feminist post-work politics
Does it ever feel like you have no free time? You come home after work and instead of finding a space of rest and relaxation, you're confronted by a pile of new tasks to complete - cooking, cleaning, looking after the kids, and so on.
In this ground-breaking book, Helen Hester and Nick Srnicek lay out how unpaid work in our homes has come to take up an ever-increasing portion of our lives - how the vacuum of free time has been taken up by vacuuming. Examining the history of the home over the past century - from running water to white goods to smart homes - they show how repeated efforts to reduce the burden of this work have faced a variety of barriers, challenges, and reversals.
Charting the trajectory of our domestic spaces over the past century, Hester and Srnicek consider new possibilities for the future, uncovering the abandoned ideas of anti-housework visionaries and sketching out a path towards real free time for all, where everyone is at liberty to pursue their passions, or do nothing at all. It will require rethinking our living arrangements, our expectations and our cities.
"Why do breakthroughs of technology so rarely lift the burden of drudgery? And how can we harness these breakthroughs to move beyond the capitalist conditions that they service today? Following their pioneering theory (Xenofeminism and Inventing the Future) Helen Hester and Nick Srinicek's new book After Work tackles this problem, and provides a new vision of a future that moves us past toil. This book advances the case for "the struggle against work - in all its forms", addressing a broad range of concerns from the rise of platform capitalism to the burdens of care that persistent in private households. Neither understating the scale of the social transformation needed for the planet to survive capitalism, nor lapsing into despair over the thorny trail ahead, After Work is indispensable reading for anyone committed to extending the realm of freedom." -- Jules Gleeson, co-editor of Transgender Marxism
"Anyone seeking cosy thoughts about the joys of spring cleaning should look elsewhere... clear and concise, with a lot of learning worn lightly" -- Andy Beckett, Guardian
About the Authors:
Helen Hester is Head of Film and Media at the University of West London. Her research interests include technofeminism, sexuality studies, and theories of social reproduction, and she is a member of the international feminist collective Laboria Cuboniks. She is the author of Beyond Explicit: Pornography and the Displacement of Sex, the co-editor of the collections Fat Sex: New Directions in Theory and Activism, and Dea ex Machina, and series editor for Ashgate's 'Sexualities in Society' book series.
Nick Srnicek is a Lecturer at City University, author of Platform Capitalism, co-author of Inventing the Future, and co-editor of The Speculative Turn: Continental Materialism and Realism.