Cornell University

Book Information

The Thought of Work
John W. Budd


Cloth, 2011 ISBN: 978-0-8014-4983-3
$ 65.00   £40.50
Paper, 2011 ISBN: 978-0-8014-7761-4
$ 24.95   £15.50

What is work? Is it simply a burden to be tolerated or something more meaningful to one's sense of identity and self-worth? And why does it matter? In a uniquely thought-provoking book, John W. Budd presents ten historical and contemporary views of work from across the social sciences and humanities. By uncovering the diverse ways in which we conceptualize work-such as a way to serve or care for others, a source of freedom, a source of income, a method of psychological fulfillment, or a social relation shaped by class, gender, race, and power-The Thought of Work reveals the wide-ranging nature of work and establishes its fundamental importance for the human experience. When we work, we experience our biological, psychological, economic, and social selves. Work locates us in the world, helps us and others make sense of who we are, and determines our access to material and social resources. By integrating these distinct views, Budd replaces the usual fragmentary approaches to understanding the nature and meaning of work with a comprehensive approach that promotes a deep understanding of how work is understood, experienced, and analyzed. Concepts of work affect who and what is valued, perceptions of freedom and social integration, identity construction, evaluations of worker well-being, the legitimacy and design of human resource management practices, support for labor unions and labor standards, and relationships between religious faith and work ethics. By drawing explicit attention to diverse, implicit meanings of work, The Thought of Work allows us to better understand work, to value it, and to structure it in desirable ways that reflect its profound importance.

About the Author
John W. Budd is the Industrial Relations Land Grant Chair and Director of the Center for Human Resources and Labor Studies at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of Employment with a Human Face: Balancing Efficiency, Equity, and Voice, also from Cornell, and Labor Relations: Striking a Balance and coauthor of Invisible Hands, Invisible Objectives: Bringing Workplace Law and Public Policy into Focus.

Subject Areas
Industrial and Labor Relations
Sociology of Work
Business Management & Human Resources